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Retaining information: man looking out of window

What is retention?

When it comes to Mental Capacity Assessments, ‘retention’ refers to an individual’s ability to recollect relevant information relating to a specific decision. However, in assessing for retention, it is also important to take into account the second principle of the Mental Capacity Act, which states that we should actively support capacity wherever possible. Therefore, as assessors, we should provide sufficient support to enable retention where possible – be it through labelled items, social stories, easy read guides or so on.

Mental capacity assessment: female professional assessing elderly gentleman

Reflecting on changes to the MCA Code of Practice (Part 1)

The UK Government has launched an open consultation around changes to the MCA Code of Practice and implementation of the LPS. The consultation document is available for anyone to access and can be downloaded in a number of different formats, including a draft version of the new Code. Professionals are encouraged to read the document(s) as appropriate and feedback via online forms. There is no requirement to study the complete set of proposals in order to take part.

Consent to treatment: patient preparing for an MRI scan

Using LEGO to support capacity and enable informed consent

LEGO has launched a new kit designed to help ease children’s anxieties around using an MRI scanner. This fantastic toy helps bridge the gap in understanding around what is going to happen, putting the process of an MRI scan in terms that a child can understand, facilitating their comprehension and thereby reducing anxiety around the whole process.

Insight and understanding: Elderly woman smiling as she looks into the distance

What is ‘understanding’?

At its most basic level, ‘understanding’ refers to ‘comprehension’ or ‘insight’ – the ability to apply knowledge to a specific topic or situation. However, in terms of the criteria for Mental Capacity Assessments, these definitions are perhaps a little broad. This is because when we test for capacity, we are not looking for an in-depth understanding of a specific topic, but rather an ability to ‘grasp’ the concept within the context of the individual’s own situation.

Supporting capacity: woman being pushed in wheelchair, looking at the sun

Five key principles of the Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) is built around five key principles. To ensure best practice, it is useful to attach a copy of the five principles to any Mental Capacity Assessment, to be reviewed prior to the assessment in order to ensure the assessment is only completed if necessary and that appropriate support is put in place, while also respecting the individual and their Rights

Mental Capacity: Elderly lady watching video supported by nurse in mask.

New Mental Capacity webinars for 2022

  • Events

We are excited to announce the first dates for our new webinar series designed to raise awareness, strengthen skills and build confidence in applying the Mental Capacity Act (2005) in health and care settings. Each 3-hour session will look at the Mental Capacity Act as a whole including how to assess, what questions to ask, Best Interest decisions and the forthcoming Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

Supporting capacity with augmentative communication aids

Supporting capacity with augmentative communication aids

There are many different forms of communication, both verbal and non-verbal in nature. While many of us will take communication for granted, others need a little more support. Thankfully there are a range of relatively low-tech aids available to support those with complex communication needs. These include Makaton, PECS and Talking Mats – all of which are put to good use across education and healthcare settings to promote inclusion and person-centred care.

Offering a hand of support

Mental Capacity Ltd: Where it all began

  • News

The idea for Mental Capacity Ltd started one day when my brother Mike was visiting me in at my home in the South East, and we got chatting about my work as a mental capacity assessor and advocate.

During our chats, we started to talk about some of the frustrations I was experiencing with my work, and the poor practice I was encountering on an almost daily basis. Examples included wrongly applied DNAR orders, care plans that unduly restrained users in their wheelchairs, and the unlawful application of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), particularly within the private sector as well as lack of application in main stream hospital wards.