CCTV Mental Capacity Assessment
CCTV is sometimes used inside a person’s house when they require care and support or the supervision of others. It is sometimes used as a substitute to another person physically being present with the person who requires care and support. However, if the person can’t consent to its use, it shouldn’t always be assumed that CCTV is the best option for the person or that the person would consent to it if they could. Although intended to provide a level of safety, CCTV is quite an intrusion upon a person’s private life. Where it is suspected that the person might lack the mental capacity to consent to the use of CCTV in their home, their capacity should be assessed, and best interests principles adopted if they lack capacity to consent.
I am instructed by individuals, solicitors and local authorities who require robust, high quality mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions. As a consultant Social Worker, I am well placed to complete mental capacity assessments for you concerning a person’s ability to consent to the use of CCTV. I have a significant amount of experience as a practitioner and have completed hundreds of mental capacity assessments since 2009. I In addition, I am a qualified expert witness and instructed to complete mental capacity assessments ahead of legal proceedings.
How is it decided whether a person lacks capacity?
The assessment process itself involves involve meeting the person (either face-to-face or virtually) and consulting their network of support. However, the actual assessment framework for this type of decision is contained within the Mental Capacity Act. This ensures that an objective assessment is completed each time and isn’t subject to personal opinion or assumptions about a particular diagnosis or someone’s age.
When completing a mental capacity assessment for this decision, I adopt best practice principles and adhere to the professional standard of the professional registration and membership bodies I belong to. They are Social Work England, Social Care Wales and the British Association of Social Workers.
How long will the assessment take?
Once instructed, I aim to complete my mental capacity assessments within 10 days with the actual assessment visit usually lasting between 1-2 hours. If, however you require an assessment completed urgently, please let me know and I will do everything I can to meet your specific timescales.
What happens if a person is assessed as lacking capacity?
If the outcome of the assessment is that the person lacks the mental capacity to make the decision, don’t worry. The assessment process is about protecting people’s wishes and autonomy as much as anything else. It’s a process that ensures that people aren’t discriminated against and make decisions for themselves where they’re able to. If a person is assessed as lacking the mental capacity to consent to CCTV, a best interests decision can be made which takes into consideration their wishes about the matter and explores whether the course of action they wish to take is in fact in their best interests. I can be instructed to complete mental capacity assessments and best interests decisions in this matter. If you would like to discuss this further, please don’t hesitate to contact me.