This practical, how-to handbook provides essential resources to help clinicians and other professionals assess mental capacity in key decisions. The book illustrates the basics of capacity assessments before discussing a variety of complex issues of which professionals will need to be aware. Offering expertise from a multi-disciplinary perspective, the book provides hands-on coverage of mental capacity law (concentrating on England and Wales).

This book is accompanied by online resources including semi-structured interviews and a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) questionnaire which can be downloaded and used for clinical cases, as well as further examples, information and tips. Please visit www.assessingcapacity.com.

Chapters are written by a variety of different professionals with extensive experience in the assessment of mental capacity. Coverage includes:

  • Explanations of mental capacity law and how to put it into practice across a range of settings, services and populations
  • A "how to" approach for administering assessments of mental capacity both for professionals who are new to the area and for more experienced professionals
  • Information on practical aspects of assessing mental capacity for commonly occurring decisions and for more specialist and complex decisions
  • Consideration of the best interests process and Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS).

With easily accessible information, case studies, examples from case law and internationally relevant discussions on ethical issues, this is the perfect companion to help busy professionals understand complex concepts relating to mental capacity.

chapter |4 pages


ByJanice Mackenzie, Kate Wilkinson

part Part 1|50 pages

Getting started

chapter Chapter 1|13 pages

Mental capacity past, present and future

An overview
ByReg Morris

chapter Chapter 2|10 pages

Some basic concepts of the Mental Capacity Act (2005)

What you need to know
ByKate Wilkinson

chapter Chapter 3|13 pages

Legal perspectives on practical capacity concerns

ByEmma Fowler

chapter Chapter 4|12 pages

International perspectives on mental capacity law

ByHelen Claridge

part Part 2|91 pages

Factors to consider

chapter Chapter 5|10 pages

Psychosocial aspects of decision-making and the assessment of mental capacity

ByDan Ratcliff

chapter Chapter 7|12 pages

Information relevant to the decision

Deciding what the person needs to know, and to what extent, in order to be able to make a decision
ByKate Wilkinson, Emma Fowler

chapter Chapter 8|3 pages

Introducing a capacity assessment to the person, family and carers

ByDan Ratcliff

chapter Chapter 9|13 pages

How to provide relevant information and enhance mental capacity

ByKate Wilkinson

chapter Chapter 10|16 pages

Capacity assessment and cognitive impairment

ByJanice Mackenzie

chapter Chapter 11|18 pages

Communication in the context of assessing mental capacity

ByJane Jolliffe

chapter Chapter 12|8 pages

Using a semi-structured interview to assess capacity

ByJanice Mackenzie

part Part 3|92 pages

Specific decisions and conditions

chapter Chapter 13|6 pages

Capacity to consent to medical procedures

ByDeborah Slater

chapter Chapter 14|8 pages

Advance care planning

ByDeborah Slater

chapter Chapter 15|11 pages

Capacity assessment for swallowing disorders and feeding management

ByCatherine Blakemore

chapter Chapter 17|9 pages

Assessing capacity to consent to sexual relations

ByDan Ratcliff

chapter Chapter 18|20 pages

Assessing capacity to manage financial affairs

ByJanice Mackenzie, Kate Wilkinson

chapter Chapter 19|4 pages

Assessing capacity in relation to signing a tenancy agreement

ByDavid Fowler

chapter Chapter 20|14 pages

The Courtroom

Capacity to litigate, fitness to plead and fitness to be a witness
ByKaren Dean, Adam Hartrick

chapter Chapter 21|10 pages

Assessing the mental capacity of people living with dementia

Getting practice right
ByIan Leonard

part Part 4|67 pages

Complex situations

chapter Chapter 22|14 pages

What to do when someone says one thing, but does another

Capacity to make a decision and put it into practice
ByVictoria Teggart, Kate Dimmock

chapter Chapter 23|20 pages

Assessment of mental capacity to make high-risk decisions

ByChris Martin, Janice Mackenzie

chapter Chapter 24|4 pages

Assessing mental capacity when the decision needs to be made urgently

ByJanice Mackenzie

chapter Chapter 25|9 pages

Mental capacity assessment

What to do when someone is refusing to engage or is ambivalent
ByJanice Mackenzie

chapter Chapter 26|9 pages

Changes in capacity over time and in different situations

ByKate Wilkinson

part Part 5|40 pages

Issues related to the Mental Capacity Act (2005)

chapter Chapter 29|15 pages

Best interests decisions

ByDan Ratcliff, Emma Fowler, Jane Jolliffe

chapter Chapter 30|10 pages

The Mental Capacity Act’s interaction with other legislation

ByIan Leonard

part Part 6|25 pages

Additional considerations

chapter Chapter 31|7 pages

Ethical issues in capacity assessments and their outcomes

ByJanice Mackenzie

chapter Chapter 32|6 pages

Assessing capacity for the Court or as an independent practitioner

ByIan Leonard

chapter Chapter 33|10 pages

Teaching and training capacity assessors

ByEmma Fowler, Janice Mackenzie