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When a family court orders a mental health assessment, there’s often a risk attached. A risk that family members will dispute the need for assessment – and a risk of long term damage to the family unit.
So here at Atkinson Lewis, we’ll start by helping you decide whether there are genuine grounds to question Mental Capacity. Then if we find that there’s a genuine mental health risk, our Consultant Psychiatrists will be able to carry out a full assessment.
So what signs should you be looking for?
If a family member has made a decision that you disagree with, it might be frustrating, but it won’t be grounds for a Mental Health Assessment. But if they’re struggling to make important decisions or to understand their choices, you might have cause for concern.
In this event, it’s important to help them understand, and worth asking friends and family to try different ways of explaining the choices available.
If you still have no success – and the decision is critical – then it might be time to carry out a Mental Health Assessment. The NHS can normally arrange this for you within 2-3 months. Or we could complete the full process within the next 7-10 days.
What happens during a Mental Health Assessment?
Our Consultant Psychiatrist will follow the UK’s Definition of Mental Capacity, as laid down by the Mental Capacity Act of 2005. They’ll consider the patient’s appearance, behaviour, speech, mood and perception, while testing other cognitive functions such as the ability to retain and process new information.
After talking to the patient at length, the Psychiatrist will draw a conclusion based on the following test criteria:
1. Does the patient understand information that’s relevant to the decision they’re making?
2. Does the patient retain that information after a few minutes or hours?
3. Can the patient apply that information or give it a sense of priority?
4. Can the patient explain their decision, showing an understanding of the alternatives?
Why work with Atkinson Lewis?
Our Psychiatrists are highly respected members of the Medical Community, who have covered a whole range of Mental Capacity Cases, from Financial and Medical disputes to complex legal affairs such as enduring power of attorney.
Most importantly, all our assessments are subject to anonymous peer reviews, so you can have absolute confidence in the report that we deliver. The results will be wholly impartial, helping you and your family to find the best possible outcome, without unnecessary delays or upheaval.