I have heard so many times that families and solicitors have contacted the GP to do the COP3. Sometimes they get an answer straight away “we don’t do these”. But worse still, it can take months to come to the same conclusion.
I understand why? Liability, time consuming, priorities, pressure, political reasons. But that does not make it easier for carers to accept.
But the fact that someone needs to apply to the Court of Protection means it is most likely the client lacks capacity, and in some cases, this presumption is because they have advanced dementia and require 24-hour care.
Application to the Court of Protection can take 12 weeks and in some cases a lot longer, so why delay things further by trying to get the GP to do the assessment.
I wish I could talk to more families and carers to help them understand this complex process. I always try to explain everything in simple language and help them as much as I can. For families and carers allowing a stranger to come in and complete the assessment is daunting, they may worry about the cost? I try to provide assurances that getting someone like me to do the assessment is value for money and worth every penny.
There are now a few company’s that offer mental capacity assessments and I can vouch for most of them. What is important is informing the carers of the different options available to them and the value of getting an independent assessor in.