There are two specific questions that can hep in assessing a person’s capacity, they are:
1.Does the person have an impairment, or a disturbance in the functioning, of their mind or brain? This can include, for example, conditions associated with mental illness, concussion, or symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse
2.Does the impairment or disturbance mean that the person is unable to make a specific decision when they need to? You should offer appropriate and practical support to achieve this before applying this stage of the test.
There are 5 key principles that everyone must follow when assessing capacity, these are:
1.Always assume that the person can make their own decision
2.Ensure all possible support is provided to make sure the person can make their own decision
3.Do not assume someone cannot make a decision because you feel they are making an unwise or unsafe decision
4.If it has been identified that the person cannot make a decision, someone can make a decision that is deemed to be in that person’s best interest
5.If a person makes a decision on behalf of the individual, this must be the least restrictive option.
A Mental Capacity Assessment is decision-specific and the principles must be applied to individual decisions. It is important to remember that an individual may lack the capacity to make a specific decision, such as around their finances, but this does not mean they lack the capacity to make all decisions. An individual may be able to choose what they want to wear or what they want to eat.
Use to answer question 9.6b of the Care Certificate