Health and Welfare Mental Capacity Assessment
Health and Welfare decisions are wide ranging and affect many aspects of our lives. They can be decisions such as where we live, who we live with and about our daily routines. They can also be decisions about medical care and life-sustaining treatment.
I am instructed by individuals, solicitors and local authorities who require robust, high quality mental capacity assessments. As a consultant Social Worker, I am well placed to complete mental capacity assessments for you concerning a person’s ability to make health and welfare decisions. 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 health and welfare 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 lacks capacity to make a specific health and welfare decision, those who help them make decisions (friends, family, attorneys and health and social care professionals) will follow the principles of the mental capacity Act and make a best interests decision.