Supported decision making

Professionals supporting decision-making

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) Part 1, Section 3 provides a range of suggestions as to what practicable steps we can take to support decision-making alongside the functional test of decision-making.  

The MCA Code of practice (2007) provides further guidance and highlights that a professional may need to get support from someone else, such as a family member, support worker, interpreter, speech and language therapist or an advocate to support a person’s decision-making. Professionals are not expected to have all the skills and some health professionals are unsure how to identify communication disorders and when help is required meaning that (Ferguson et al, 2010; Jayes et al, 2014), consultation with others who have appropriate expertise is essential.  

Jayes and Palmer (2015) have created, and are in the process of publishing, a Mental Capacity Assessment Support Tool (MCAST) to support health professionals to identify specific strategies that they could use to support decision-making and identify when they need to refer on for specialist support. Further details about MCAST can be found at:  https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/hp7w5a9AGsYBwGkfGsku/full.