Common mistakes people make when assessing mental capacity No: 1

Over the years that I have been training and facilitating others to assess mental capacity I have noticed that time and time again there are common mistakes that seem to occur over and over again.

A Lack of Capacity

The first mistake is that people assume a lack of capacity before the assessment even starts! This also seems to be the hardest one to shift as people come armed with their preconceptions about how an illness or situation will affect someone’s capacity and seem reluctant to let these go.

It is interesting that this mistake is fairly evenly spread across the professions, be they Dr’s, Nurses, Social Workers or solicitors.

The principles of the MCA are clear that we start from an assumption of capacity. If you find yourself saying “they can’t have capacity” even before you have seen them, beware you might be about to make mistake number one.

For more information about our services and how to avoid the common mistakes people make when assessing mental capacity email us on [email protected] or call us on 0333 577 7020

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