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.

X Close Notice

Tel: 0203 617 1255

What is Mental Capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make decisions. Sometimes decisions are relatively simple and made on a daily basis such as what to wear, what to eat and what to do that day.  Other times, decisions are more complex, made less often and might have legal implications such as agreeing to medical treatment, making a Will or where to live.

In law, there is an underlying assumption that all adults are able to make their own decisions, without interference from others and generally speaking, we go about our daily lives making decisions all the time, reaping the benefits of our decisions or suffering the consequences.  Sometimes we make good (or wise) decisions and other times, not so wise.  Nonetheless, there is an assumption that whatever the consequences, all adults have the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

But what happens if an adult can’t make their own decisions?  It may be a temporary inability, such as the affects of drugs or alcohol, or a longer-term or even permanent inability such as a brain injury or illness that affects a person’s ability to make some or even all decisions.  Whatever the reason, if a person can’t make their own decisions a piece of legislation called the Mental Capacity Act (2005) was introduced to ensure that people have the necessary help when it comes to decision-making. More than that though, the Mental Capacity Act protects people from others assuming that they can’t make decisions based on their age, appearance or an illness they may have such as dementia.

The Mental Capacity Act provides a framework for assessing a person’s mental capacity for most decisions and if a person is assessed as lacking the mental capacity to make a particular decision at a particular time, it provides guidance as to how a decision can be made in the person’s best interests.  It is important to not that if you are next of kin, this provides no legal basis for making a decision for another person.  In all cases, the principles of the Mental Capacity Act must be followed when making a decision for another adult, regardless of your relationship to them.

For some decisions such as; making a will, conducting court proceedings, making a gift, entering into a contract and entering into a marriage, other legal tests apply following judgments in court cases (known as common law tests) and aren’t covered by the Mental Capacity Act.