The Best Interest Checklist
Section 4, MCA 2005
This does not mean that capacity may not be considered in these situations, but rather if a person is assessed as lacking capacity in any of these areas a best interest decision may not be made on their behalf.
It is not always clear what is in someone’s best interests and professionals, informal supporters and the person themselves may all have different views about what best interests actually are. It is not formally defined within the MCA and determinations should all undertaken on a case-by-case basis, section 4 of the Act sets out a checklist that needs to be considered when you are working out what might be in a persons’ best interest.
While formal best interest meetings as considered good practice this is not always possible or practical, with quick decisions sometimes needing to be made in the general practice context or in situations where there is only you as the GP or primary care practitioner involved.
Meetings or other processes are local agreements rather than a specific legal requirement but you must ensure that whether it is a conversation between the person, their family and yourself or a full professionals meeting where the section 4 best interest checklist is considered and applied to work through the decision making process.
A checklist / decision making record tool has been developed as a suggested template as part of the development of this toolkit. The tool can be downloaded for use and added to patient information systems if desired.