What is Mental Capacity?

Mental capacity meaning able to make your own decisions and understand the information given to them about those decisions.

What is a capacity assessment?

Is an assessment that determines whether someone has the ability or understanding to make a decision. The Mental Capacity Act is a law that relates to this. The Mental Capacity Act gives practitioners the guidance and law when doing assessments.

What happens if my family member lives a long way from you?

An assessor will travel to see the person but if your family member lives far away, you may have to pay extra for travel or mileage. But this will be fully explained to you before proceeding.

Do I need a solicitor?

You don’t strictly need a solicitor when applying for Deputyship or a Lasting Power of Attorney but it is advisable as it can be a complicated process, solicitor are very experienced in these matters.

What if my family member communication needs?

Victoria is very experienced at understanding how communication problems can affect the outcome of the assessment, for instance if your family member is very deaf, or has problems forming words (possibly due to a stroke). Please don’t worry about this, there are things we can do to help.

What happens if my family member does not speak English?

Victoria can get an interpreter in, I normally do this virtually, I take my laptop with me and the interpreter is on the screen. This normally costs about £99 but we can also organise for someone to attend in person, whichever you think would be most helpful.

How long does it take to get the report back?

You normally get the COP3 or report back within a couple of days.

What happens if my family member is in hospital?

If your family member is in hospital, it is normally best to wait until they are discharged from hospital and well enough to have an assessment, but in some circumstances I will visit someone in hospital.

What happens if my family member is in a care home?

If your family member is in a care home, I will arrange directly with the care home a convenient time to visit. This is usually late morning or just after lunch, as I find these are the best times for the person with dementia and the care home.

How long does an assessment take?

The assessment will usually take about an hour.

Who carries out the assessment?

An experienced mental capacity assessor, either a registered nurse, social worker or Occupational Therapist.

What happens during the assessment?

The assessor firstly introduces themselves and explains what is going to happen and why.

Things are explained in a way so everyone can understand what is happening.

The assessor will always be very sensitive to the situation and never cause any distress or confusion.

During the assessment, which will feel like a ‘normal’ conversation’ the assessor will start to gather information on what the person understands, remembers and how they work things out. Questions are related to their life and how they make decisions, if the assessment is to determine whether the person can make decisions regarding their financial affairs, the questions will be related to that.

How much does an assessment cost?

When you make an enquiry to have an assessment, I will provide you with a quote that is always fair and value for money. You can always get a quote from another company who provides assessments and compare. You can always try your GP, but from experience this can be problematic and time consuming as you don’t get an answer straight away. But its worth asking your GP as they may do it for free.

Do you have to visit in person?

I like to visit in person and see the person face to face, but I can do an assessment over the internet but it very much depends on how the person is and whether they can look at the screen and concentrate this way.

What happens next?

Once you make the enquiry, I will provide a quote, normally via email. Once the quote is approved I provide you or the care home with a date and time for the assessment. If you have a solicitor representing you or your family member, I will contact them as well.

I complete the assessment as soon as possible, then write it up within a couple of days. Once completed I then send you and the solicitor the report. It is then up to you to send it on to the relevant body, depending on what type of assessment it is. For instance, a COP3 is then sent to the Court of Protection.

How do I pay?

You will receive an invoice after the report has been completed. You can either pay over the phone, or via bank transfer.

How do I know if someone doesn’t have the capacity to make decisions?

A person who lacks the capacity to make decisions will be impaired in some way, such as dementia or severe learning disability.

You may notice they cannot understand information around those decisions, or remember the information and/or communicate their decisions by talking or sign language.