As you will be aware, the health and social care sector (like others) is working hard to maintain essential services in what are extremely challenging times. Whilst the manner in which many of us work is being adapted in line with current Government and Public Health England guidance, it is recognised that much of the work we undertake can’t simply just stop. So, there is a balance to be had between ensuring, as far as possible, the wellbeing of everyone (especially vulnerable people) and maintaining vital services. I am committed to maintaining as many of the services I provide throughout this period of uncertainty whilst acting responsibly to help ensure the safety of those I work with, vulnerable people and their carers.

To this end, until further notice, the following will apply:

Where possible, I will assess and consult people using non face-to-face methods such as Skype and telephone calls. Sometimes this is not possible and, in those situations, where safe to do so, I will continue with a face-to-face approach. If this is required, current Government guidelines will be followed. Whichever method will be adopted will depend entirely upon the nature and urgency of the work and will be discussed with the instructing party and care providers where applicable.

I wish you a safe and healthy time as we work together over the coming months,

Best Wishes, Gary.

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Tel: 0203 617 1255

Social Media and Internet Use Capacity Assessment

Access to social media and use of the internet has, over the years, opened up a whole new world of information and contact with other people.  Social media in particular has provided a means of keeping in touch with people across the world as if they were living in the same street.  However, social media and the internet aren’t without their dangers and pitfalls and you may have concerns whether a person has the mental capacity to make decisions about their social media and internet use.

I am instructed by solicitors who require a social media and internet use mental capacity assessment to complete a high quality and robust assessment. As an experienced Social Worker, I am well placed to complete social media and internet use mental capacity assessments for you.  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 in legal proceedings.

How do you decide if someone lacks capacity?

The assessment process itself involves involve meeting the person and their network of support to establish their wishes in relation to the decision in question.  This is a crucial part of the assessment process.  However, the actual assessment framework for this type of decision is contained within the Mental Capacity Act and guided by additional case law.  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 Social Media and Internet Use Mental Capacity assessments, I adopt best practice principles and adhere to the professional standard of 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.  If, however you require an assessment completed urgently, please let me know and I will do everything I can to meet your timeframes.

What happens when 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.  If a person lacks capacity to make a 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 made a best interests decision.  Use of the internet and the contact that people have over social media is often vital and a best interests decision will explore how your client can continue to use these tools in a safe manner.

If you would like to find out more about best interests decisions, or instruct me to complete one, please don’t hesitate to contact me.