Toolbox Talk: Mental Capacity and Decision Making

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Toolbox Talk: Mental Capacity and Decision Making

This short course provides tips and information on assessing someone’s mental capacity and decision making ability.


Assessing someone’s mental capacity and decision making abilities can feel a bit daunting. In this presentation, tips and information are given for assessing mental capacity and decision making in a way that stays person centred.

This learning package aims for you to:

  • Understand that capacity is decision specific.
  • Assume, in the first instance, that the person has capacity to make their decision.
  • Understand that allowing time to help someone make their decision is important
  • Recognise the balance between supporting someone’s unwise decision in order to maintain their dignity/independence and ignoring any potential risk associated with the unwise decision which would be neglectful.
  • Understand that persuading and encouraging someone to do something else must be in their Best Interest
  • Ask is there a less restrictive alternative – to achieve the same ends?
  • Know that day to day decisions can be supported, by a Best Interest discussion, between the care home, nominated relative/friend and possibly GP
  • Understand that more serious decisions (moving home or matters of Safeguarding) must involve a Best Interest meeting supported by the Local Authority Social Services or someone with LPA/EPA authority.
  • Know that all decisions should be recorded
  • Not worry if you feel unsure. This sounds complicated until you get your head around it. If you are unsure seek further clarification from your manager.

How long does it take?

Duration: 1 hour

The video presentation and debriefing questions will take approximately 1 hour.


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