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Independent Consultancy for Capacity/Service Evaluation

The Talking Mats Team is increasingly  asked to help ascertain a person’s capacity to express their views from a non-biased perspective. We are also asked to carry out service evaluations  and are therefore developing independent consultancies to individuals and organisations. Our team of experienced Speech and Language Therapists, who have an in-depth knowledge of communication difficulties, are well equipped to do this.  

The following are examples of independent consultancies which we have been asked to carry out:

  1.  A lawyer asked us to work with a man who had had a severe stroke to ascertain his capacity to make decisions ranging from simple ones such as where he would like to go on holiday to complex ones such as who should control his finances.  Using Talking Mats we were able to determine that he could make decisions about simple, concrete situations but wished his wife to make more complex decisions such as finances. check
  2. A Social Work department asked us to work with a woman with dementia and aphasia who had been sectioned. They needed to ascertain if she could understand why she could no longer live in her own home. We worked closely with her social worker and through using Talking Mats ascertained that she was unable to give informed consent.
  3. A Health Service facility asked us to evaluate the degree to which their patients felt involved in their care planning.
  4. A Care Home asked us to use Talking Mats with a 91 year old resident with dementia to find out her views about receiving dental treatment. There had been problems in the past and both the staff and her son were unsure if she understood the reasons and implications for dental treatment. Using Talking Mats, she was able to explain her thoughts about her teeth and dentures and clearly said that she was unhappy about opening her mouth for the dentist but that if her son were with her she would feel much better. We received this comment: “If you were to show the first few minutes without Talking Mats you would have thought this lovely lady lacked capacity,  however the change and her engagement is noticeable.”

The following points explain with whom and how we can carry out the Talking Mats consultancy:

  • Children or adults
  • Family members, friends, professional staff
  • Individuals or groups
  • With or without a carer present
  • At a venue and time which best suits the individual
  • On any topic – we already have a comprehensive range of topics for both adults and children – but can create tailored symbol sets for any situation
  • To find out someone’s views on a particular topic or situation at a specific point in time
  • To help determine the capacity of an individual to make their own decisions
  • To compare someone’s views over time
  • To compare different people’s views e.g child and parent, person with dementia and carer
  • We provide a detailed report with a copy of the person’s completed mat/s

To find out how we can help you and for discussion of costs please contact us at or phone us at 01786 479511