Supporting patients to make decisions about their care


This case study supports the information on Mental capacity in the Ethical Hub. It aims to help explain how certain principles in our guidance should be applied to patients and in practice.

  • Each case study begins with the patient’s notes to set the scene and the characters
  • The grey boxes tell the story
  • The blue boxes summarise the doctor’s considerations and/or actions
  • At the end of each case study we highlight the paragraphs in our guidance for your reference


Tracey Searle, is 49 years old with downs Syndrome.  She receives a letter inviting her to attend cervical screening with the practice nurse. 

She attends the appointment with Sam a support worker who is eager for the appointment to finish.  Tracey appears confused and the practice nurse is unsure if Tracey understands enough to consent to the screening.  The practice nurse asks Dr Khan to review.     

Read the complete case study 'Supporting patients to make decisions about their care'