Assessing Mental Capacity
Established in 2011, TSF Consultants are recognised as the leaders in the provision of mental capacity assessments. They were awarded the coveted title of Mental Capacity Assessor – Firm of the Year 2017, by Lawyer monthly. They have also been given the Most Highly Regarded Expert Witnesses 2017 accolade this year by Acquisition Intl, after which we spoke to the firm’s founder, Tim Farmer to learn more about the firm’s mental assessment service.
SF Consultants believes that every individual is a person – who has the right to be the best that they can be and should be treated with respect and dignity always, in accordance with the core values of empathy, compassion and knowledge.
The firm’s founder, Tim Farmer is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading experts in the assessment of mental capacity. He is a registered mental health nurse with over 20 years’ experience of working with individuals with reduced capacity and is the best-selling author on the assessment of capacity.
Tim revels to us the coverage of the firm’s work across the UK, something of the journey they have taken since 2011 and what their mission is when it comes to helping people.
“We have over 50 assessors across the UK giving us truly national coverage. 99% of our assessments occur in the individual’s home, at a time of their choosing. This enables us to ensure they feel safe and to that they can be at their optimum, during the assessment. All our assessors are either health or social care professionals and they are all recognised by the Court of Protection, as well as the Office of the Public Guardian.
“Since being established in 2011, our reputation has continued to grow with the result that in 2013, we gained our first international client. Since then, the firm has had several individual’s flown into the UK, for us to assess and we have also been flown abroad to assess individuals on behalf of the Court of Protection.
“The firm’s mission is to provide the highest standard of mental capacity assessments and service to our customers. We aim to be mindful that when people approach us, they are in a time of crisis and we are to be part of the solution, not the problem. If the firm can’t help for whatever reason, we will always try and offer them a suitable alternative.”
Tim then highlights the reasons to choose this leading expert firm in the assessment of mental capacity, starting with the fast turnaround offered.
“Due to the high level of referrals, we are currently experiencing slight delays in completing assessments. Despite these delays, we are still faster than other providers. We are currently recruiting to our assessor network and apologise for any inconvenience caused in the meantime. Often mental capacity doesn’t become an issue until it is too late and any delay in getting an assessment, often leads to the situation deteriorating and things getting more complex. Unfortunately, when things become more complex, they often also become more expensive in terms of legal fees and costs.
“There is currently a 3-month waiting time for submissions to be processed by the Court of Protection or The Office of the Public Guardian. Add to that a four month wait for the outcome of a mental capacity assessment and you are suddenly looking at over half a year before you can achieve any meaningful outcome to your situation, or for your loved one. We can’t speed up the courts, but TSF Consultants can ensure that you don’t encounter any unnecessary delays.”
In closing, Tim tells us about the firm’s unrivalled expertise in the sector today.
“There are some things in life that are just too important to leave to up to any old Tom, Dick and Harry (nice as they undoubtedly are). We believe that mental capacity assessments are one of those things. It is a common mistake to think that all mental capacity assessors are equally qualified and knowledgeable. It is also a mistake to think that because someone is a doctor, nurse or social worker, then they must automatically be experts in the assessment of mental capacity.
“That is why we won’t even consider someone as an assessor unless they have at least four years’ experience of assessing mental capacity in a clinical setting. After that, they must be able to demonstrate their understanding of the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act and associated case law, to the highest level. It is a fact that less that we employ less than 1 in 10 of those that apply to work for us, because they fall below our exacting standards.
“As if this wasn’t enough, we also work closely with both barristers and solicitors to ensure that our understanding of the Mental Capacity Act and all associated case law is correct, so that you can be sure the outcome you receive is the right outcome. It is no coincidence that we are considered the goto experts within the legal profession. Use Tom, Dick and Harry to mow your lawn, but please think twice about using them to assess mental capacity.”
Company: TSF Consultants
Name: Tim Farmer
Address: 7 Nelson Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2HL UK
Phone: +44 (0)333 577 7020