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104 Service development project: creating a trust level mental capacity act awareness week
  1. Thomas Gupta-Jessop
  1. ST6 in Forensic Psychiatry, St Bernard’s Hospital, West London NHS Trust, UK


Aim To improve the understanding and confidence of clinical staff working in forensic services in applying Mental Capacity Act (MCA) legislation.

Method A multidisciplinary group including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker and mental health law expert developed a MCA Awareness Week. This included a two hour workshop repeated across three forensic directorates. The workshop featured large and small group activities based on frequently arising scenarios. Workshop attendees were asked to complete a pre and post workshop questionnaire.

Results The workshops were fully booked with 80 staff members attending from all clinical specialities including: nurses (33), psychologists (8), healthcare assistants (7), doctors (7), occupational therapists (6), social workers (5), pharmacists (3) and clinical managers (3). 90% of participants completed both the pre and post workshop questionnaires. The mean usefulness score of the workshop was 8.8/10. There was a statistically significant increase (at the 0.05 level) in mean scores across all four measures, including: understanding capacity (26.7% increase), confidence in assessing capacity (29.3%), confidence in being a decision maker (31.6%) and awareness of the principles of capacity (35%). Qualitative feedback was that participants valued having face-to-face learning and group discussions allowed staff to share their views and experiences from the perspective of their disciplines.

Conclusions The project was developed in response from the feedback and recommendations of a Care Quality Commission inspection. This meant that senior sponsorship was provided for initiating the project. The multidisciplinary collaboration behind the project also ensured that the service was valued and attended across the disciplines.

The emergence of COVID-19 raises the issue of whether it is viable to adapt a service to an online medium when it is valued for its face to face and group component.

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