Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, an individual is assumed to have capacity to make decisions for themselves. If there is doubt about whether an individual has mental capacity to make a decision themselves, for example, due to a medical condition such as a learning disability, dementia, brain injury or mental illness, a mental capacity assessment must be undertaken by the relevant professionals before any decision is made on behalf of the individual.
In many cases, Local Authorities and NHS Trusts are often involved in the decision concerning an individual who appears to lack capacity, so those bodies must ensure that the necessary assessments are undertaken and the correct procedures are followed before any action is taken or any decisions are made. In some cases, decisions are taken based on flawed or incorrect assessments.
If an individual is assessed to lack mental capacity to make a decision, best interests process and procedure must be followed. In some cases, this meeting may be a multi-disciplinary meeting consisting of professionals such as social workers, doctors and other medical professionals. Deciding what should be in someone’s best interests is difficult and it is common for disagreements between family members and professionals to occur.
At RKB Law, we are specialists in Mental Capacity and Court of Protection matters, and are able to provide advice and assistance in all matters relating to mental capacity assessments and best interest decisions, and challenge the outcome of a capacity assessment.
For further information about Mental Capacity Law, or to speak to one of our Mental Capacity solicitors today please contact us on 01622 356 911 or fill in our enquiry form.
Mental Capacity Act 2005 - www.legislation.gov.uk
Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Guidance - www.gov.uk/government
Best interests assessments - www.scie.org.uk