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Our second project with Burdett Trust for Nursing – Mental Capacity

26th May 2021

Burdett Trust for Nursing project – developing learning tools to support student and qualified nurses in their understanding and duties under the Human Rights Act (1998) and Mental Capacity Act (2005).

The National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work is the national leader in Mental Capacity Act (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards/Best Interest Assessor) education in England. This project has sought to utilise this expertise to develop high quality learning materials to help empowers nurses. This has been done through collaboration with key stakeholders such as service users, nursing students, practising nurses and academics, NHS England and the Mental Capacity Forum. This project continues NCPQSW’s successful collaboration with the Burdett Trust for Nursing through the delivery and promotion of learning materials which support nurses.

Issues of mental capacity, consent and advanced decision-making are of growing concern for nursing professionals and research suggests that nurses and other health professionals are unsure of their roles in respect to mental capacity and end of life advanced decision making. There is a need to build a confident nursing workforce able to employ evidence-based and person-centred methods. A core component of meeting this need is embedding knowledge of mental capacity legislation and guidance, underpinned by human rights, into nursing education and practice.

The project is underpinned by a robust literature review and the primary research activities included surveys, focus groups with stakeholders and investigation of how the Mental Capacity Act 2005 is currently taught within qualifying nursing programmes in the UK.

The developed learning tool will be launched at a national event in September and rolled out across the country to all nurses and other frontline health care staff. The research outcomes will also be submitted for publication in academic and nursing and adult safeguarding journals. You can keep up to date with these activities on our website at where share regular blogposts and through our Twitter account @researchPQSW.

You can also read more about our previous work with the Burdett Trust, here:


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