Mental Capacity And
Social Care Assessments
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We pride ourselves on providing excellent quality Mental Capacity and Social Care Assessments, coupled with an efficient and professional service.
OFH specialize in providing Mental Capacity Assessments to support applications to the Court of Protection for Deputyship, decisions pertaining Property and Financial Affairs, Health and Welfare decisions, Power of Attorney, Will and Testament, Capacity to litigate, Capacity to Gift and Capacity to enter into Marriage.
We also provide social care assessments, reviews and assessments to support funding applications
Providing You With Reliable And Professional Assessments
Comprehensive Mental Capacity Assessments
At OFH, we pride ourselves on providing excellent quality mental capacity assessments, case management services, and social care assessments, coupled with efficiency and professionalism.
A mental capacity assessment becomes necessary when a person is required to make an important decision but, there are concerns that, due to an impairment in the way the person's mind or brain works, they may be making a wrong decision or a choice they will not make if they did not have an impairment.
Our mental capacity assessors have extensive skills and knowledge, which ensures that we always provide quality and reliable assessments to meet the relevant legal requirements. Each assessment we provide is quality checked to ensure our reports are robust. There is a range of reasons why a mental capacity assessment may be required. For example, it may be necessary to determine an individual’s capacity to manage their property and financial affairs, their capacity to make health and welfare decisions, appointing a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or an application to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy. Other decisions include the capacity to litigate, which is also referred to as capacity to conduct proceedings, the capacity to gift or testamentary capacity assessment, which is also known as the capacity to write a will. There are occasions where a mental capacity report is required to determine a person’s ability to consent to sexual relations, capacity to marry, receive medical treatment, or enter into a pre-nuptial agreement, for example. When an application to the court of protection is being made, this has to be accompanied by a COP3 assessment of capacity. The Mental Capacity Act, 2005, sets out that mental capacity has to be assessed separately for each decision and at the specific time the decision needs to be made. The mental capacity act also sets out a two-stage test. The first stage requires that there must be “an impairment of, or a disturbance” in the way the person’s mind or brain works, which impacts their ability to make the decision at the time. To meet these criteria during a mental capacity act assessment, it is not necessary that the person has a diagnosis. For example, acute confusion, memory loss, and drugs or alcohol effects are some of the aspects that could result in brain impairment or disturbance. These could either be temporary or permanent. The second stage requires the assessor to establish whether, the impairment impacts the person's ability to understand, retain and weigh-up or use the relevant information to make up their own mind about the decision. Finally, the person must communicate their decision by any means (verbal, none verbal or other communication methods the person can use).
All our assessors understand the intricacies of carrying out specialist assessments with people of all ages, varying complexities, diagnosis, and presenting needs. Our team consists of experienced independent social workers, psychiatrists, and psychologists with a background in mental health capacity assessments, addressing unmet needs, rehabilitation, funding applications, placements, etc.
- Highly experienced practitioners
- Fixed fees and competitive prices make our services better value for money.
- Fast Turnaround of reports.
- Specialist Knowledge in Health and Social Care.
- Specialist knowledge in Mental Capacity.
A mental capacity assessment will be required when, significant decisions need to be made, and, there are concerns that the person the decision concerns, may be unable to consider the relevant factors, in order to make the decision. It is important to also consider that, there could be an element of risk or loss, if the person was to make a decision without considering the important factors.
In addition to the above, a capacity assessment will be required for day-to-day decisions such as, taking prescribed medication, when to eat, what to eat, when to go out, choosing activities to engage in, etc.
Aside from the time required to gather the information regarding the person being assessed and, information about the decision to be made, the time for a capacity assessment could vary greatly. For example, an assessment could take anything from 45 minutes to 2 hours. The determining factors will be, if the person requires any communication aids, whether the information needs to be simplified and repeated to the person, whether the person is chatty or not, whether the person is tangential or able to give direct responses.
I recently completed an assessment which took more than two hours, because, the gentleman I assessed had made certain life choices that his family did not agree with. In the assessment, the gentleman wanted me to hear the history and reasoning behind his life choices. I in turn felt it was important to hear these, as it informs his decision making and, ultimately, his mental capacity.
Mental capacity should be assessed when the person is likely to be at their best. To elaborate, an assessment should not be carried out if a person is drowsy due to the effects of medication or drugs. Also, for people who are confused, it is best to consider times of the day when their confusion is reduced, so that they can engage in the assessment process as best as possible.
In order to assess someone’s capacity to make decisions about their property and financial affairs, this information needs to be shared with the assessor, as the capacity assessment with the person needs to factor in the person’s financial position.
The short answer is no.
A diagnosis of Dementia or any other mental illness does not mean a person lacks mental capacity. Also, capacity is decision specific, meaning separate decisions require a standalone mental capacity assessment. For example, a person may be able to choose what to eat for breakfast; however, due to their mental disorder, they may not be able to remember which medication they should be taking, when they should take it, or how much.
All the relevant information has to be given to the person, including any options that are available to them. For example, if the decision is for the person to gift a significant amount of their money, the person needs to be made aware of the implications of gifting that money (including how this will affect their bank balance or the funds available to the person, the fact that, if they make a conscious decision to gift their money, they will no longer have control over how that money is used, etc).
Equally, the information needs to be provided in a manner that the person can understand. For example, does the person require an interpreter, do they require the use of sign language or picture books, can the information be written down in clear visible writing for the person to read, or can other non-verbal communication be used.
Assessing someone at a time when they will be alert and, able to engage in the assessment process is also essential.
“I have been consistently impressed with Leon's assessments. Not only does he consistently cover all of the legal points but he is showing a person-centred approach and a thorough appreciation of the nuances related to deprivation of liberty and care provision.”
"You have been a brilliant advocate for [M.G] and her family and it has been a pleasure to work with you."
"Many thanks for providing such a professional, fast, efficient service for us… My Sister and I have reviewed this report thoroughly now. We are happy with the comprehensive nature of the content, and the professional finish to the document. We have checked with our solicitors, and it meets all our legal needs."
"I am very impressed with the depth of these Reports and the time and great attention to detail which has obviously been spent in compiling them."
Mental Capacity and Social Care Assessments
We pride ourselves on providing excellent quality mental capacity and social care assessments coupled with an efficient and professional service.