What we do

The Mental Capacity Act requires us to assume that people have capacity and can make decisions themselves, unless otherwise established. A person will be given all possible help to make specific decisions before being assessed as lacking capacity to make their own decisions.

If we think a person may lack capacity to make a decision, even after being offered practical support, a social worker or other suitably qualified person will carry out a capacity assessment in relation to the specific decision to be made. Where it has been assessed that a person lacks capacity for a particular decision, decisions will be made in their best interest.

Any restrictions because of this decision will be in the person’s best interest and will be proportionate to the likelihood of the person suffering harm as a result of the decision.

Planning will always continue to involve the person as far as possible, taking account of their wishes, feelings, values and aspirations as well as their needs and wellbeing. They may be supported and represented by family and friends. If this is not possible, an independent advocate will be appointed. The advocate will represent the person, speak for them and challenge the local authority’s decision if necessary.