Undertaking capacity assessments for people with dementia in general hospitals
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice    

Undertaking capacity assessments for people with dementia in general hospitals

Aileen Murray Trainee consultant practitioner for mental health, Solent NHS Trust/Health Education Wessex, Winchester

Ensuring that older patients are discharged from hospital in a safe and appropriate manner is a fundamental aspect of nursing care. However, it is clear from the literature and clinical practice that determining people’s capacity and whether they are able to decide where they live on discharge is a significant challenge. There is variation in practice despite the legal framework provided by the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, covering England and Wales, which raises questions about adherence to the legislation. Using a case study, this article explores aspects of the MCA and clinical practice that affect older patients’ outcomes on discharge from general hospital settings. It demonstrates how effective multidisciplinary working, using the legal frameworks available, can ensure that an individual's independence and well-being are maintained.

Nursing Older People. doi: 10.7748/nop.2016.e841



Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Received: 26 May 2016

Accepted: 26 July 2016

Published online: 13 August 2016

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