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Expert Mental Capacity Assessments

Our team of experienced mental capacity assessors come from a range of different professional backgrounds, including social work, mental health nursing, learning disabilities nursing, general nursing, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. This means that we can match your requirements with an assessor that is right for you. If you would like to discuss any of our services in further detail, we would be happy for you to contact us at this number: 0333 577 7020

OUR SERVICES

Mental capacity assessments play a crucial role in determining whether an individual is able to understand, retain, use, weigh and communicate relevant information in order to be able to make a specific decision. Continue reading as we will explore the concept of mental capacity, delve into the process of mental capacity assessments, discuss their importance, and highlight key considerations.

What is Mental Capacity?

Mental capacity refers to an individual’s ability to understand, retain, and use information to make decisions that impact on their life. Assessment of mental capacity is always in relation to a specific decision: a person may have mental capacity to make one particular decision but not for another type of decision. Often this is dependent on the complexity and amount of information that a person needs to understand in order to make that decision.

At TSF, we use the term “threshold of understanding” to set out what a person might need to understand in order to make the specific decision. As well as understanding relevant information, a person will need to be able to consider and weigh the pros and cons of different options or of making the decision, and the consequences and risks attached to it. A person’s mental capacity can fluctuate so it is important to assess someone at a time when they are most likely to be able to make the decision in question, where this is possible, particularly for “one off” decisions.

The Mental Capacity Assessment Process

At TSF, you will be allocated a Client Liaison Officer who will be your point of contact from initial enquiry through to receipt of your completed mental capacity assessment report. The Client Liaison Officer will assist you in gathering relevant background and referral information so that the assessor has a good understanding themselves of the exact decision that the person needs to make. All of our mental capacity assessments are completed by qualified and registered health professionals, such as nurses, social workers, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists.

The assessment ‘interview’ is based around a conversation, with the assessor asking questions to ascertain whether the person is able to understand, use, weigh, retain and communicate relevant information in order to be able to make the decision in question. Therefore, the majority of questions that the assessor will ask are questions relevant to the decision that needs to be made (the decision for which the person is being assessed). For example, in a property and financial mental capacity assessment, the conversation between the assessor and the individual will focus on questions relevant to how the person is able to manage their money; what they understand about the banking process and how money is kept safe; what they understand about their income, outgoings and budgeting; their understanding of relative values; using GBP currency and consequences of getting into debt.

The Importance of Mental Capacity Assessments

It should always be assumed that a person has capacity to make a decision. This is the starting point of any mental capacity assessment. However, where there is a question mark over a person’s ability to make a specific decision, due to them not being able to understand, retain, use or weigh relevant information or communicate their decision, and where that person has a cognitive impairment (this does not have to be a diagnosed impairment), a mental capacity assessment should be undertaken to ascertain whether the person is able to make the decision in question.

If the outcome of the assessment is that the person has capacity to make the decision, our reports will evidence this and the person can proceed with making the decision. If the outcome of the assessment is that the person lacks capacity to make the decision in question, then our reports can then be used to evidence an outcome of lack of capacity. In such circumstances, if proceeding with the decision in question, this would need to be made in the person’s best interests.

If it is found that a person does not have capacity to act in a specific role, such as acting as an executor or trustee, then a legal professional can assist with appointing someone else to carry out this role. If the person is not able to make a Will or manage their own finances, then it may be that an application to the Court of Protection is necessary so that a statutory Will can be made or to appoint a Deputy to manage the person’s finances in their best interests. If the person is not able to make a decision about an equity release mortgage but has a valid LPA, then their attorney would be able to make this decision on their behalf. If a person lacks capacity to litigate in legal proceedings, then our assessment would provide evidence that would enable a Litigation Friend to be appointed to ligate on behalf of that person.

What makes Mental Capacity Assessments from TSF different?

Sometimes a person will require specific support to facilitate communication or to aid understanding. Our assessors are skilled at tailoring assessments according to the support needs of each individual person, ensuring that Principle 2 of the Mental Capacity Act is adhered to (that individuals should be supported to make their own decisions wherever possible). This might mean that a person needs to have visual prompts or communication aids to hand, is able to write down information or view information in a simplified or pictoral format to aid understanding. Our assessments are always person-centred and tailored to an individual’s specific circumstances.

An assessment can be completed either face-to-face or virtually via video-link. As well as the conversation with the person who needs to make the decision in question, the assessment may also include consultation with family members or caregivers, in order to obtain as full a picture as possible of how the person is able to function day to day where they may be faced with having to make decisions relevant to the matter being assessed. The assessor then carefully documents their findings, either in a letter, summary report or full report format (as instructed by the client) which will evidence whether the person has capacity to make the decision in question.

Face-to-face and video link assessments

Our team of expert Mental Capacity Assessors conducts both face to face and remote video-link assessments across England and Wales. We are qualified and experienced in assessing a person’s mental capacity on a wide range of specific decisions.

Unrivalled Expertise

Simple Process

5-star reviews

Unrivalled Expertise

Simple Process

5-star reviews

“Very professional with a quick turnaround and great manner putting clients at their ease to get the best from them and help them make decisions where they are able”
“I cannot recommend TSF highly enough for all of the background information prior to the assessment, and the calm and very natural approach of the assessor which immediately put my client at ease”
“The CoP Deputy Court Order has now been issued and we would like to express our thanks for your prompt and competent service. It has been a pleasure to do business with TSF.”
“Thank you for coming and making my father feel so comfortable and being so patient. Your service provides a friendly and relaxed, yet professional approach to what otherwise could be perceived as a somewhat complex and daunting process.”
Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I am really pleased with the service provided and will certainly recommend you to future clients.

Kind words

Maria Goodacre

“Very professional with a quick turnaround and great manner putting clients at their ease to get the best from them and help them make decisions where they are able”

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Alison

“I cannot recommend TSF highly enough for all of the background information prior to the assessment, and the calm and very natural approach of the assessor which immediately put my client at ease”

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Jennifer, John and Ronald

“The CoP Deputy Court Order has now been issued and we would like to express our thanks for your prompt and competent service. It has been a pleasure to do business with TSF.”

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N Isaac

“Thank you for coming and making my father feel so comfortable and being so patient. Your service provides a friendly and relaxed, yet professional approach to what otherwise could be perceived as a somewhat complex and daunting process.”

READ MORE…
Catherine

Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I am really pleased with the service provided and will certainly recommend you to future clients.

READ MORE…

Meet the team

Client Liaison Officer

Joanne

I joined TSF in February 2021 as a Client Liaison Officer. My previous experience in the financial services and in a customer service role for residential care brings a wealth of knowledge to our company. I am part of a team at TSF that assists our clients with their initial enquiry through to completion of the final report. My passions are spending time with my family, walking in the Cotswold Valleys and travelling to foreign countries.
Mental Capacity Assessor

Barry

Hi, I’m Barry Fitzgerald. I’ve been a Registered Mental Nurse for 30 years and although retired from the NHS on a full-time basis, I still work occasional shifts on the local Out-of-Hours Team. I am an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) and have been approved since 2010. I’ve been working in the TSF team since 2016. I have conducted assessments with people who have experienced a range of conditions, such as dementia, acquired brain injury and learning development. Things that keep me busy are my daughter, trying to learn German, my motorhome and just pottering about.
Mental Capacity Assessor

Beth

My name is Beth Fields, I am a mental capacity assessor working for TSF. I am a registered learning disability nurse with a passion for advocating for people with cognitive impairment. In my nursing career I have had the privilege of supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health conditions and more recently, dementia and those at the end of their life. I enjoy spending my free time with my family, walking my dogs and trying not to fall off my paddleboard!
Mental Capacity Assessor

Adam

I am a Registered Learning Disability Nurse. I have over ten years of experience working with individuals with impaired cognitive states and reduced mental capacity. I have specialist skills in working effectively with people struggling with communication difficulties and in supporting them to make their own decisions. I am committed to empowering people so that they are able to live their own life as fully as possible.

I have been working as a Mental Capacity Assessor for TSF Assessments since 2019. This role has allowed me to further develop my skills, so that I am now proficient at assessing mental capacity for a broad range of financial and legal decisions.

Since 2020, I have also been working as a senior lecturer in Learning Disabilities Nursing on a university undergraduate nursing degree course. I teach on a range of subjects, including using the Mental Capacity Act in practice.

Client Liaison Officer

Denise

I joined TSF in July 2023 as a Client Liaison Officer. My previous experience was working in a Medical Devices Company for over 27 years. Having started out as a Customer Service Agent, I then progressed to Team Leader. I have brought these skills to TSF, I enjoy working with the general public and endeavour to provide excellent customer service. In my free time, I love being sociable with family and friends and warming up with a big cup of coffee after watching my daughter play netball!
Mental Capacity Assessor

Ethera

My name is Ethera, I am a mental capacity assessor working for TSF. I am a registered social worker with a range of adult social care experience, including palliative care, mental health, learning disability, dementia and autism. In my twenty years of being a social worker, I have worked in local authorities, the NHS and charity sector. I have a strong interest in supporting those with cognitive impairment to have their rights upheld through the mental capacity legislation. When I’m not working, I enjoy travel and nature.
Clinical Lead

Vicki

I am the Clinical Lead at TSF, supporting our first-class team of Mental Capacity Assessors. I am passionate about enabling clients to make decisions for themselves wherever possible and, where clients are not able to make decisions for themselves, ensuring that they have been well supported in conversations that clearly evidence how they lack capacity to make those decisions. My background is in Social Work: I completed a Master’s degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work in 2000. Since then, I have worked in the NHS and in Local Authority teams as a Social Worker and Senior Practitioner and then as an Independent Social Worker, before joining TSF in 2019. Over the course of my Social Work career, I have worked with adults with physical and mental health difficulties, learning disabilities, brain injury and with older adults with dementia. I practised as an Approved Social Worker and Approved Mental Health Professional and qualified as a Best Interests Assessor, which then sparked my interest in the field of Mental Capacity. When not thinking about Mental Capacity, I can be found at the piano, or walking in the beautiful Cotswolds, which I am fortunate to call home.

Joanne

Client Liaison Officer

Barry

Mental Capacity Assessor

Beth

Mental Capacity Assessor

Adam

Mental Capacity Assessor

Denise

Client Liaison Officer

Ethera

Mental Capacity Assessor

Vicki

Clinical Lead

Joanne

Client Liaison Officer

Barry

Mental Capacity Assessor

Beth

Mental Capacity Assessor

Adam

Mental Capacity Assessor

Denise

Client Liaison Officer

Ethera

Mental Capacity Assessor

Vicki

Clinical Lead
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