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Mental Capacity Assessments

We can help with a range of Mental Capacity Assessments for adults, children and young people, including decision-specific and retrospective mental capacity assessments. Our mental capacity assessments are person-centred, to help people make decisions and get the support they need, while safeguarding vulnerable individuals. We understand how important any mental capacity assessment is for those involved and aim to complete them as quickly as possible.

Your Questions Answered

  • What is a mental capacity assessment?

A mental capacity assessment helps us evaluate someone's ability to make a certain decision. The level of understanding needed for different decisions is outlined in the Mental Capacity Act (2005), or through precedent set by case law – like Banks v Goodfellow, which deals with creating Wills.
Contrary to popular belief, a mental capacity assessment isn't always a test; rather, it's simply a conversation we have with someone. We do our very best not to put excess pressure on the individual so they feel free and comfortable expressing themselves honestly.

  • What to expect in a mental capacity assessment

Our mental capacity assessments usually take around an hour and our friendly, experienced social workers do their best to make sure it’s a comfortable and relaxed experience. We’re accredited expert mental capacity assessors, so you’re in good hands.

A person’s mental capacity to make decisions can change, depending on their specific situation and health condition. Someone may need help with a specific decision, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t make other kinds of decision for themselves.

  • Who can complete a mental capacity assessment?

In cases involving complex or major decisions you may need to get a professional opinion. The mental capacity assessor must be an impartial, qualified professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or social worker.

  • Can we complete video-link or face to face mental capacity  assessments?

We can visit you in your own home or any other suitable space you feel most comfortable and at a time of your choosing. In those instances where face-to-face mental capacity  assessments aren't viable, we offer a fully secure video-link mental capacity assessment service. 



Social Work England is a specialist body taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles. All of our Social Workers are registered with Social Work England for your peace of mind. 


Our assessors are accredited Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) assessors with specific experience in completing capacity assessments and specialist reports.

All of our assessors have undergone extra training to become accredited financial vulnerability experts according to Lichtenberg standards, so they can provide even more detailed reports on mental capacity.



Mikes Dad, Jim, lived with a diagnosis of dementia. Mike had been helping out with odd jobs since his Mum passed away, but with his Dad’s diagnosis, he wanted to ensure he was able to continue to support him.

Mike approached a local solicitor to create lasting power of attorney, however as there was concerns about Jim's capacity they required a mental capacity assessment completing. Mike initially approached his dad's GP, but they advised they couldn't help, the same response was had from the local authority.


When Mike approached us he was stressed and frustrated at not being able to move forward, after a short call with our admin support one of our Social Workers met with Jim and Mike at Jims home to discuss both lasting power of attorney for finance and health and to ensure Jim understood both decisions.

To ensure that Jim’s was supported in his decisions making and to ensure his wishes were upheld we completed two separate mental capacity assessments, one for whether Jim had the sufficient mental capacity to grant lasting power of attorney for finances and a second for whether he had sufficient mental capacity grant lasting power of attorney for health.

The mental capacity assessments took place at Jim’s home and were a relaxed affair with plenty of tea and biscuits, Jim later told his son he didn’t feel like it was a mental capacity assessment, it felt like a natural conversation.

During the mental capacity assessments, Jim was able to show his understanding of the relevant information, his ability to use the information and was able to retain it long enough to communicate effective decisions. Jim was fine to make these decisions, and we had the evidence of his mental capacity assessments to ensure his wishes and decisions were not contested in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Who can complete a mental capacity assessment?

In cases involving complex or major decisions you may need to get a professional opinion. The assessor must be an impartial, qualified professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or social worker.


Need to make an appointment?
Contact our team.


Mental capacity a comprehensive guide

Around two million individuals in England and Wales are estimated to be unable to make decisions for themselves, resulting in approximately six million people, including a wide array of health and social care professionals, plus unpaid caregivers, supporting them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in a mental capacity assessment?

The MCA sets out a 2-stage test of capacity:


1) Does the person have an impairment of their mind or brain, whether as a result of an illness, or external factors such as alcohol or drug use?

2) Does the impairment mean the person is unable to make a specific decision when they need to? People can lack capacity to make some decisions, but have capacity to make others. Mental capacity can also fluctuate with time – someone may lack capacity at one point in time, but may be able to make the same decision at a later point in time.

How do I get a private mental capacity assessment?

The person's doctor or local authority social worker may be able to complete a mental capacity assessment; however, there can be lengthy delays, and depending on the decision, the GP or local authority may decline. Our team at Nellie Supports provides expert mental capacity assessments throughout England and Wales, both in person and via video link.

What are the 5 principles of assessing mental capacity?

  • Principle 1: A presumption of capacity. ...

  • Principle 2: Individuals being supported to make their own decisions. ...

  • Principle 3: Unwise decisions. ...

  • Principle 4: Best interests. ...

  • Principle 5: Less restrictive option.

Why get a private mental capacity assessment?

Capacity can change, and any delay can result in a person losing capacity; organising a private mental capacity assessment can mean a faster appointment time, resulting in a greater possibility of a person being able to make their own decision, and where a person lacks capacity, reduces unnecessary delays with the service such as the court of protection.

Our Social Workers specialise in mental capacity and, as such, are experts in the assessment process and the case law, ensuring a robust and comprehensive report.

Who decides if a person has mental capacity?

Technically anyone can complete a mental capacity assessment; however, if the decision is complex or for legal purposes such as a deputyship order, it may require a qualified registered health and social care professional to complete the assessment. This includes GPs and Social Workers. Most importantly, you should ensure any assessor completing the assessment has the relevant experience and knowledge of assessing capacity and the legislation pertaining to the decision being made.

Can someone with dementia have mental capacity?

The principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) advise we should always presume capacity until proven otherwise. As such, a diagnosis of dementia does not necessarily mean that someone lacks the capacity to make decisions. While dementia can result in a person losing the ability to make decisions, the capacity to make a decision depends on the specific decision being made and the individual cognitive function at the time of the decision being made.


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