Capacity Assessments

Capacity Assessments

Our Capacity Assessments are a specialist service designed to determine if an individual has the mental capacity to make certain decisions.

It should be assumed that a person has capacity unless a comprehensive assessment has been conducted by a professional which indicates otherwise. A clinician will deem an individual to have capacity if they are satisfied that the individual can:

  • Understand information given to them about a particular decision
  • Retain the information given for long enough to make a decision
  • Weigh up the information sufficiently to make a decision
  • Consistently communicate their decision

Our Expertise

Whilst there is no definitive, predetermined capacity assessment, there are practice guidelines and legal frameworks that inform the assessment and should be adhered to. These include:

  • Adults with Incapacity: Guide to Assessing Capacity (2008)
  • Guide to Best Interests Decision Making (2021)
  • The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
  • The British Psychological Society: Supporting People Who Lack Mental Capacity: A

A capacity assessment is necessary to determine if you/your loved one is able to make decisions independently, or if assistance and support is required to ensure that decisions are made in your best interest. The ultimate goal is to protect and empower those who may lack capacity.

  • A person may lack capacity if they have:
  • A brain injury
  • A mental health condition
  • A stroke
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Dementia
  • Intellectual disability

However, having a diagnosis of any of these conditions does not necessarily mean that a person lacks capacity. Furthermore, capacity can fluctuate, and someone can lack capacity to make some decisions but still have the capacity to make others.

What areas of capacity can be assessed?

At The Edinburgh Practice, we can assess capacity in relation to the following areas:

  • Capacity to Decide Living Arrangements: An individual’s capacity to decide where to live.
  • Capacity to Manage Finances: An individual’s ability to make financial decisions.
  • Changes to or appointing Powers of Attorney: Appointing a Power of Attorney or changing the individual(s) that you have appointed to manage your affairs and make financial decisions on your behalf.
  • Gifting: An individual’s capacity to decide to gift assets or money to others.
  • Guardianship: Providing legal authority for an individual to make personal decisions on behalf of another.
  • Litigation Capacity: An individual’s ability to take legal action.
  • Testamentary Capacity: An individual’s ability to make or alter a will.

The Assessment Process

Broadly, the different steps of a capacity assessment will be as follows:

  • An initial consultation lasting approximately one hour. This would involve a clinical interview with the client. This will be conducted at the practice (home visits can also be considered). Further consultations with the client to assess capacity as appropriate.
  • Collateral information is gathered via phone call or in person, from someone who knows the client well and who is not related to the decision at hand. Collateral information is also gathered by family members/other individuals who know the client well.
  • A review of relevant medical records e.g. GP records.
  • Reviewing relevant legal documentation and requested amendments.
  • Discussion with relevant health care professionals.
  • Cognitive screening where appropriate.
  • A feedback session is offered to outline the outcome of the assessment.
  • A written report is provided, outlining the capacity assessment process and the clinical opinion and outcome.


Initial Meeting

An initial appointment involving a clinical interview will be arranged with the client at a time that is convenient to them. This will last approximately one hour and will be conducted at the practice. Home visits can also be considered. Further appointments will be offered to gather additional information and to assess the client’s capacity.

Gathering Additional Information

Collateral information will be gathered via phone call or in person, from someone who knows the client well. Collateral information will also be gathered from family members/other individuals who know the client well.

A review of relevant medical records (such as GP records) will be conducted. Additionally, a discussion will be organised with the client to ascertain what changes are being requested and review relevant legal documentation and requested amendments. A cognitive screening will be carried out where applicable.

Relevant healthcare professionals (such as GPs) will also be contacted for discussion and relevant medical records will be reviewed.


Once all relevant information is gathered, a feedback session will be offered to discuss the outcome of the assessment.


A written report outlining the capacity assessment process and the clinical opinion/outcome will be provided to all clients.

Our Fees

As the complexity of capacity assessment can vary fees are based on individual cases. Please get in touch via our self-referral form to request a capacity assessment and we will provide you with an estimate of fees.


Please ensure you have provided all contact information below as you will be
contacted directly. All information will be kept confidentially.

A Day in the Life of one of our Assistant Psychologists, Frances!
🎬 Enjoy watching what Frances gets up to on a typical day as the AP for our Child and Adolescent Services at TEP!
📝 From school observations, writing reports, researching for new projects to coming up with the next social media post, Frances loves keeping busy and organising her day well. 
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🎉 We are thrilled to welcome Lisa Fraser, our new Health Visitor, here at TEP!
👨‍👩‍👧 Having worked within the NHS for over a decade, Lisa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. From assisting families with the initial adjustments of welcoming a new member to their family, to providing guidance as their child steps into education.
👩‍🍼 Lisa supports new parents with feeding, sleep routines, developmental milestones, toileting, and behaviour.
🤩 Welcome to the team, Lisa!
💻 You can find more info about Lisa on our website. Link in bio! 
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🙏🏼 Team TEP are dedicated to ensuring every individual feels heard and supported. Thank you to this client for sharing your experience!
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At TEP, our core values are all about you. We believe in creating a safe space where your voice is heard, fostering an environment where your personal growth is not just encouraged but celebrated. Embrace these values, own them, and let them empower you!
💪Courage: At TEP we truly believe it takes enormous courage to admit that you’re struggling with your mental health, to know that you need professional help, and to take that brave first step towards help-seeking. 
💛Compassion: At TEP, it’s not just about understanding and empathy from us; it’s about fostering a supportive space for you to be kind to yourself. Self-compassion reduces stigma, builds resilience, and propels you towards positive change. Embracing this internal kindness can be a powerful force for your personal growth and overall wellbeing.
⚖️Integrity: This value is crucial in the work that we do at TEP. We want to make sure that you have a space that is trustworthy, authentic, and consistently supportive. In a nutshell, it’s all about creating a space where you feel heard, respected, and empowered as you navigate your mental health journey.
🫶Safety: At TEP, your safety is our top priority, including physical and psychological safety. We create an emotionally safe environment where clients can openly express themselves without judgement. Our space has been designed to feel safe and comforting, with our entranceway being designed to feel like walking into someone’s hallway. The safety of your personal information is paramount, we uphold strict confidentiality standards and safeguard your personal information. We value creating an environment where all can feel secure, safe, valued, and supported.
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