Assessing residents capacity to decide on vaccination
Assessing residents’ capacity to make a decision on vaccination
A reminder of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act
- Assume a person has the capacity to make a decision themselves, unless it’s proved otherwise
- Wherever possible, help people to make their own decisions
- Don’t treat a person as lacking the capacity to decide just because they make an unwise decision
- If you make a decision for someone who does not have capacity, it must be in their best interests
- Treatment and care provided to someone who lacks capacity should be the “least restrictive” of their basic rights and freedoms
- Remember that a capacity assessment is for a specific decision
- People can lack capacity to make some decisions but have capacity to make other decisions
- Mental capacity can fluctuate with time
- Read NICE guidance on decision making and capacity
Capacity assessment process
- Does the person have an impairment of their mind or brain?
- Does the impairment mean the person is unable to make a specific decision when they need to?
The Mental Capacity Act says that a person is unable to make a decision if they cannot:
- Understand the information relevant to the decision
- Retain that information
- Use or weigh up that information as part of the process of making the decision
Before deciding a person lacks capacity it is important to take steps to enable them to try to make the decision themselves.
- National Capacity Forum held a useful webinar on capacity – you can find more information here
- A London webinar was recently held on the Mental Capacity Act – you can find the slides here