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How to carry out Mental Capacity Assessments

Supporting capacity with augmentative communication aids

Since launching Mental Capacity Ltd at the start of 2022, we have published a new blog every week to raise awareness around the Mental Capacity Act and help professionals build confidence and develop skills in applying the Act in practice. In this blog, we bring together some of our most popular blogs on how to carry out Mental Capacity Assessments (sometimes referred to as Mental Capacity Tests) to help you quickly and easily find the resources you need.

Getting started

At the heart of the assessment process are the five key principles of the Mental Capacity Act. These include the presumption of capacity and individuals’ right to be supported to make their own decisions.

Once you have a good understanding of the five principles, we recommend reading our guides on some of the core fundamentals of Mental Capacity:

Looking closer at the two-stage test:

Plus an important blog on:

We particularly recommend taking time over what questions to ask and how to explain assessments, as these areas can potentially cause issues for those who are unprepared.

Worked examples

It is quite surprising just how few accessible worked examples there are in the field of Mental Capacity. To help professionals develop skills in this area, we have developed several anonymous cases based on real-life incidents, including corresponding reflections on what works and what doesn’t work in the examples that we provide.

With care and preparation, Mental Capacity Assessments need not be a daunting process, but rather a way to promote inclusion and support an individual’s rights, while also safeguarding decisions and ensuring professional best practice throughout.

Protecting rights

Finally, we have several important blogs that give further context to the Mental Capacity Act with supporting case law and lessons incidents of poor practice:

Our blog on landmark cases is particularly important, as it cites many of the key cases that have led us to the point where we are at today. These cases serve to remind us that the Act is designed for a reason: to protect people’s rights and support vulnerable people in being heard.

Further support

For more examples and support in developing skills in assessing mental capacity across different fields in everyday practice, please do get in touch. We have a range of services available including onsite training (with online options available). We can also carry out Mental Capacity Assessments for complex cases and can provide bespoke consultancy to help your team become MCA compliant.

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