How Do You Assess Mental Capacity?

I am often asked “How do you assess Mental Capacity” so I thought I would take a few minutes to give you an idea of how we at Gain Capacity Experts can help.

The most important thing for us when we are asked to carry out an independent capacity assessment to assess someone’s mental capacity is to quickly build a rapport with the person we are assessing.

Having worked in the NHS for over 20 years, I am used to putting people at ease. I like to introduce myself first and then find a way to connect. I will also ask about their hobbies & interests, give feedback, ask questions, actively listen and respond with empathy.

Once I fell the person is ready and relaxed, I then go on to ask the more formal questions after getting permission to do so. In order to get an accurate report, the questions we use directly relates to what capacity is being assessed. I always assume the person has the mental capacity to understand information, retain relevant information, use or weigh up things relevant to the decision and finally communicate the decision.

I use this time during the assessment to check whether:

  • They understand what is being discussed,
  • They are ale to retain the information,
  • They can weigh up all of the implications
  • They can communicate the decision.

Once the assessment is over, I will write a detailed and comprehensive report showing all of our findings and will also seek feedback at this stage.

Assessing mental capacity can be daunting for friends and family so we take the time to explain everything at each step on the journey.

If you would like to find out more about Mental Capacity Assessments then please contact me