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Understanding mental capacity
Understanding mental capacity

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1 Assessments in care

In care settings, assessment refers to the process of appraising someone’s needs. This person may require help with daily living tasks, financial matters, health concerns, accommodation or relationship problems. An assessment is similar to finding the pieces of a jigsaw and fitting them together in a way that best suits the person being assessed.

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Figure 1 Assessment in care settings is similar to finding the pieces of a jigsaw

Following the implementation of mental capacity legislation in all nations of the UK, all assessments have to take account of the person’s mental capacity, whatever the type of assessment. These range from a care management assessment of need to the assessment of the needs of a child and their parent in a child protection situation or in a criminal justice setting. All assessments now need to screen for mental capacity.