A long road to travel: the impact of the Mental Capacity Act on adults with complex needs in residential settings

Publication year:
Place of publication:

This research, funded by the Department of Health, investigated the impact the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) has had, since its implementation, on a small number of individuals with limited mental capacity who use Scope’s residential services. The 12 month study looked at the decision-making process in six different situations to identify the role of different stakeholders in that process, especially the service user. Stakeholders included managers of services, care staff, other professionals , families, advocates and the service user. Six people, representing a range of abilities and a mix of gender and age, from three different Scope residential services across England were included. Four subjects had family or an advocate involved in their care. Stakeholders were asked to complete workbooks based on their own perception of the quality of life outcomes for the service user. Unstructured interviews were also conducted. From the findings it is concluded that, at this early stage in implementation of the MCA there was no evidence to show that the Act was having an impact on the lives of the service users. However, there were examples where the Act could have had considerable influence if it had been implemented. Recommendations are made for service providers, supporting service users, family and carers, and the Commission for Social Care Inspectorate.

Subject terms:
Mental Capacity Act 2005, complex needs, learning disabilities, mental capacity, mental health law, outcomes, residential care, rights, service users, user views, choice, decision making, evaluation;
Content type:
Register/Log in to view this resource

Key to icons

  • Free resource Free resource
  • Journal article Journal article
  • Book Book
  • Digital media Digital media
  • Journal Journal

Give us your feedback

Social Care Online continues to be developed in response to user feedback.

Contact us with your comments and for any problems using the website.

Sign up/login for more

Register/login to use standard search filters, access resource links, advanced search and email alerts