Best interest meetings

If a case goes to the Court of Protection, this document will be important evidence to support the outcome of the assessment made by a practitioner. Complete this correctly so that it gives protection to the person at the centre of the decision making process and the practitioner.

Best interests decisions

  • If the person's capacity to make a specific decision has not been assessed, a best interests meeting cannot go ahead.
  • Clarify who the decision maker is. They are the person who is proposing a change or treatment or carrying out an act for the relevant person eg operation, change of residence.
  • When trying to work out what is in a person's best interests, the decision maker should try to identify all the issues that would be most relevant to the individual who lacks capacity.
  • The above is in addition to the checklist on page 65 of the code of practice in chapter 5.
  • Show your 'working out' using the 'balance sheet' approach that is used by courts.
  • The balance sheet approach is like a list of pros and cons. For example, write the decision to be made such as 'returning home' and list below all the reasons for and against returning home. Include the person as much as possible, family/friends and practitioners.
  • Ensure the meeting is recorded and copies of the record sent to all who attend.
  • Ensure that the relevant person who lacks capacity has a suitable advocate (this may be a family member, friend, or independent advocate).
  • Include the relevant person in decisions as much as possible.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 31 January 2014

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