PACT advance decision-making template: is another form really the answer?


Peter Bartlett considers the usefulness of the new PACT advance-decision making template, which is a fillable template for advance decision making in fluctuating mental health conditions – PACT (Preferences and Advance decisions for Crisis and Treatment).

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Let’s talk about sex! Sexual consent for people with learning disabilities


Nick Burton presents a recent literature review about the right to legal capacity to consent to sex for people with learning disabilities. He highlights a number of important questions that staff need to consider so that they can support people with learning disabilities to have healthy sexual relationships.

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Positive public attitudes found in Irish survey to the expression of sexuality in people with learning disabilities


Supporting adults with learning disabilities to express their sexuality and form intimate relationships is an area that continues to challenge provider organisations. One of the factors that impacts on this is public attitudes. This study reports on the findings of the attitudes of the general public in Ireland. The researchers looked at the data from [read the full story…]

People with learning disabilities still not getting adequate information and support to make decisions about medications

Health information

Making the decision to consent to medical treatment requires access to information, presented in clear and understandable ways. There is evidence that that people with learning disabilities do not always understand information about medications they are prescribed, for example from the medication matters project carried out at the Norah Fry centre  which produced a series of [read the full story…]

Structured assessment framework improves adherence to requirements of mental capacity act


The Mental Capacity Act has created a legal framework for those supporting people with learning disabilities making decisions about the way they live their lives. The Act provides safeguards for those people who may be unable to make decisions for themselves and sets out guidance for supporters. The authors of this paper carried out an [read the full story…]

Benefits of participative research in medium secure settings


This study set out to understand whether recent approaches to informing people with learning disabilities about the findings of research ((e.g. simplified information sheets, reading out information etc) are effective and to discover what people with learning disabilities understand about research. The researchers invited seven men and ten staff members to work as co-researchers with [read the full story…]

Use of simple visual prompt improves recording of capacity to consent assessments


This study set out to examine the practice of a number of psychiatrists working in a large learning disability service in relation to their recording capacity to consent to treatment and discussions with patients about side effects of medication. A number of measures were introduced to improve practice in the service including the application of [read the full story…]

Two phase approach to assessing mental capacity improves confidence of all staff in process


Previous posts on this blog have pointed to the fact that there is a lack of knowledge in some areas around the mental capacity act. This paper sets out the learning from developing and implementing a two phase process to help professionals involved in conducting capacity assessments to overcome any hesitation or lack of confidence. [read the full story…]

Care Quality Commission publish monitoring report on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

bad news

The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards provide a legal framework for hospitals and care homes to obtain a power to lawfully deprive people who are using their services of their liberty. This applies when they lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment. The safeguards aim to protect some of the most [read the full story…]