Key learning points

These key learning points in this section describe how to undertake confident and empowering mental capacity focused professional practice rooted in human rights.

Each learning point assumes that the least restrictive option is followed as a matter of principle and professionals do as much as possible to support and listen to the individual’s voice.

  • Decision-specific: assessment of capacity is not a one-off exercise and must be reassessed for each decision and situation
  • Person-specific: individualised support is needed for each individual, to ensure that they are given all practicable help to make decisions themselves. They must understand the decision, what is involved and why the proposed care or treatment is needed. They need to be supported to communicate their wishes and choices and to make the specific decision themselves, wherever possible.
  • Time-specific: aside from emergency treatment, it is important to support the individual to make a decision at the most optimal time for them and should be delayed until they are best able to make the decision themselves
  • Individuals should be given appropriate information to help them make decisions themselves