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Before we look at the stages of assessments, it is useful to understand the key roles in the assessment process. These are the Mental Health Assessor, Best Interests Assessor, the Eligibility Assessor and the supervisory body.

The Mental Health Assessment is undertaken by a Doctor who is section 12 approved or a registered medical practitioner who has 3 years special experience in diagnosis and treatment of mental disorder.

The best Interests Assessor has the role of a person who establishes whether DoL is occurring or is going to occur.

A key question is:
Is the application necessary to prevent harm to that person and is the DoL proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of the harm?

The Best Interests Assessor must be an ‘approved mental health professional such as a social worker, nurse, occupational therapist or chartered psychologist with at least 2 years post registration experience.

The Best Interests Assessor will evaluate the care plan to consider less restrictive alternatives against the likelihood of harm, seek the views of anyone involved or interested in the persons' welfare, involve the relevant person and support them to take part in the decision and consider views of the mental health assessor.

The Eligibility Assessor must be either a Mental Health Assessor who is also an approved doctor or a Best Interests Assessor who is an ‘approved, mental health professional’.

The Supervisory Body will make a decision on the assessment completed and if agreed they have the responsibility of appointing the relevant person representative.

There must be a minimum of two different assessors in this process, none of the assessors is to have a financial interest in the case of the relevant person and none can be a relative.

Looking at the assessment decision, we need to explore the two stages, stage one looks at a number of factors. If at any point these are not met the process ends and authorisation is not granted under DoLs.

These factors are • The persons' age. We must establish if the person is aged18 or over, under this age the individual is protected under Safeguarding of Children.

• Mental Capacity. We need to establish whether the relevant person lacks the capacity to consent to the arrangements proposed for their care or treatment.

• No refusal Assessment. This determines if the person has made advanced decisions about their treatment and whether authorisation would conflict with any decisions made by, for example, someone with Lasting Power of Attorney or a court-appointed deputy.

• Eligibility Assessment. This determines whether the person would meet the requirements for detention under the Mental Health Act; this would make them ineligible for a standard authorisation. This is undertaken by a Best Interests Assessor who section 12 approved.

Stage two assessment focuses on; Mental Health Assessment, Mental Capacity Assessments, Eligibility Assessment and Best Interests Assessment