Dr. Abi Cheeseman answers your questions about Mental Capacity Assessments

What is a Mental Capacity Assessment?

A mental capacity assessment (not to be confused with MCA, which stands for the Mental Capacity Act) is requested when there is uncertainty about an individual’s ability to make their own fully informed, balanced decisions about a particular aspect of their life. In England and Wales, Mental capacity assessments apply to adults, aged 16 and over.

What is the Mental Capacity Act?

At its heart, the Mental Capacity Act is all about protecting our rights to make our own choices and decisions, and to make sure our views and wishes are taken into account if capacity is lacking.  A mental capacity assessment follows legislation and a strict code of practice to make sure that our rights are upheld. Sometimes a person may make a decision that others feel is unsafe or unwise. A mental capacity assessment in this case might show that the person can make their own decision, and in doing so it protects their right to make that decision. In contrast the assessment might show that the person lacks capacity. In this case, decisions on behalf of the person must only be made with full reference to the person’s wishes, feelings and based upon what is in their best interests.

How is the assessment carried out?

The assessment itself often takes the form of a structured conversation or interview with the individual, with questions specifically tailored to the question of capacity being assessed. The assessor may also wish to read reports and documentation, as well as speak to others involved in the individual’s life and care.

Who can request a Mental Capacity Assessment?

Anyone can request a mental capacity assessment, but commonly they are requested by a legal professional (solicitor, Deputy), a health or social care professional or the individual’s next of kin or family member.

Why is there different assessments? Why can’t one assessment answer all capacity questions?

Mental capacity assessments can be completed for a wide range of questions and each question must be considered separately. This is because different decisions rely upon different types of knowledge and understanding. Mental capacity can change over time, so it is also important that assessments are completed in a timeframe that is appropriate to the question at hand. It is not lawful to complete just one assessment to cover all scenarios. This is ensures that the individual’s rights to make their own decisions in all aspects of life are upheld.

Circle Case Management’s Mental Capacity Assessment team is led by Dr. Abi Cheeseman, critically acclaimed Clinical Psychologist. Find out more about Mental Capacity Assessments by watching this video : Mental Capacity Assessments with Dr. Abi Cheeseman

The Mental Capacity Assessment team includes a Speech and Language Therapist, SALT Therapist, a Mental Health Nurse, Clinical Psychologists and Specialist Occupational Therapist.

With a range of different specialities, the Mental Capacity Assessment team can conduct a variety of capacity assessments as well as completing COP3 documentation, retrospective assessments, and lasting power of attorney.   

The team are available for instruction throughout the U.K.  

Email mca@circlecm.com or call 0129724145 to discuss your Mental Capacity Assessment requirements.

Posted on October 7th 2021

Loading... Updating page...