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Getting Started

Mental capacity assessment: female professional assessing elderly gentleman

Types of questions to ask in an assessment

In previous blogs we have considered what questions to ask as part of Mental Capacity Assessments. We have also worked through a case study in a two-part blog. In today’s blog, we aim to build upon this knowledge, taking a brief look at the types of questions that can be asked, taking special consideration of just how we frame a question and grade it to the client’s needs.

Supporting capacity with augmentative communication aids

How to carry out Mental Capacity Assessments

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.

Assessing capacity: lady and man in wheelchair wearing coats looking into the distance

Common errors in Mental Capacity Assessments

I’ve been involved with the field of Mental Capacity for many years now, both as an assessor and an advocate. In this time, I’ve encountered a whole range of common errors and mistakes that come up time and time again.

These errors can have a major impact on a person’s quality of life, and ability to make decisions for themselves. Not only that, but they also leave open the risk that if the Mental Capacity decision is ever to be challenged, then it will quickly be dismissed and overruled by governing bodies such as the Court of Protection.

However, thankfully, most of these errors are easily avoidable and simple to resolve with adequate reflection, preparation and the correct training. 

Lady in wheelchair facing away from camera, looking down a paved street

How to explain assessments to people who are being assessed

We all have a large amount of underlying assumptions or associations in all elements of our lives, which we are encouraged as working professionals to stop and reflect on in order to reduce the impact of these on our daily practices. Without this professional conduct we risk being biased, unprofessional, incur misunderstandings or cause offence. Whether it is surrounding age, gender, health conditions, political outlook, faith, religion, education or appearance.

Elderly lady walking outside arm in arm with nurse. Photo by Cristina Serí on Unsplash.

Mental Capacity Assessments: Where to start?

From talking to colleagues, team members from different settings and other professionals across the board about the topic of the Mental Capacity Act and its Assessment, one of the most common stumbling blocks reported appears to be – where to start with an assessment, closely followed by the contents of completed assessments. It can leave some people feeling really overwhelmed and unsure of themselves, while others are thriving at the challenge, identifying ways to establish a “standard” for their own working environment.