Journal Article

Expertise and Experience: People with Experiences of Using Services and Carers' Views of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Jill Manthorpe, Joan Rapaport and Nicky Stanley

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 5, pages 884-900
Published in print July 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcm154
Expertise and Experience: People with Experiences of Using Services and Carers' Views of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

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Summary

The views of people with experiences of using services and the views of their carers about the 2005 Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) are reported in this article. Interviews with ten people about the detail of the Act prior to its implementation revealed that they welcomed the principles of the Act, and were able to relate these to aspects of their experiences. The Act's framework for planning around care and treatment and for making advance decisions was seen as offering greater choice and empowerment. Comments were made about the need for the Act to be publicized by professionals, for practitioners to provide specific information and for people with experiences of using services and carers to be included in training and monitoring. The data also revealed some concerns about implementation processes, about missed opportunities for legislative reform and the difficulty of balancing risks and safeguards. Such issues are likely to be highly relevant to social work practice; social workers are alerted to the expertise existing among many people with experiences of using services and carers and to the variations in opinion and knowledge likely to be found among people using services and carers.

Keywords: Social work and law; decision making; legislation; Service users

Journal Article.  6134 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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