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


part 1|50 pages

Getting started

chapter Chapter 1|13 pages

Mental capacity past, present and future

An overview

chapter Chapter 2|10 pages

Some basic concepts of the Mental Capacity Act (2005)

What you need to know

part 2|91 pages

Factors to consider

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

chapter Chapter 10|16 pages

Capacity assessment and cognitive impairment

part 3|92 pages

Specific decisions and conditions

chapter Chapter 13|6 pages

Capacity to consent to medical procedures

chapter Chapter 14|8 pages

Advance care planning

chapter Chapter 20|14 pages

The Courtroom

Capacity to litigate, fitness to plead and fitness to be a witness

chapter Chapter 21|10 pages

Assessing the mental capacity of people living with dementia

Getting practice right

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

chapter Chapter 25|9 pages

Mental capacity assessment

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

part 5|40 pages

Issues related to the Mental Capacity Act (2005)

part 6|25 pages

Additional considerations