Interactive Learning
Mental Capacity

Celebrating the Launch of Our Mental Capacity Toolkit for Nurses and Professionals

24th September 2021

On Friday 24th of September 2021, we had a lovely day by the river Stour, where we welcomed around 40 delegates and Bournemouth University (BU) staff to celebrate the launch of our new Mental Capacity Toolkit. This toolkit is a web-based tool that provides easy access to learning materials and information for nurses and other professionals who work with people who may lack or have impaired mental capacity.

This toolkit is the result of an 18-month long research project funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, and led by Professor Lee-Ann Fenge and Dr Sally Lee from the National Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Social Work (NCCDSW) and the Centre for Seldom Heard Voices at BU. The project aimed to investigate the issues that professionals encounter in using the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and to increase their knowledge and understanding of the legislation and practice requirements.

The Background of the Project

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a key piece of legislation that protects the rights and interests of people who may lack or have impaired mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It also provides guidance and safeguards for professionals who work with these people, such as nurses, social workers, doctors, and carers.

However, research suggests that many professionals are not confident or competent in applying the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in their practice. They may face challenges such as assessing mental capacity, obtaining consent, involving family members, making best interest decisions, or dealing with complex or emergency situations.

Therefore, there is a need to improve the education and training of professionals who work with people who may lack or have impaired mental capacity, and to provide them with practical tools and resources that can help them in their practice.

The Content of the Toolkit

Our Mental Capacity Toolkit is designed to meet this need by providing a range of interactive and engaging learning materials and information for nurses and other professionals. The toolkit includes:

  • A comprehensive overview of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its principles, processes, and safeguards
  • A series of modules that cover various topics related to mental capacity, such as assessment, consent, best interest, advance decisions, lasting power of attorney, deprivation of liberty safeguards, and advocacy
  • A collection of case studies that illustrate real-life scenarios and dilemmas that professionals may encounter in their practice
  • A set of quizzes that test the knowledge and understanding of the learners
  • A selection of videos and podcasts that feature experts and practitioners who share their insights and experiences on mental capacity issues
  • A list of useful links and resources that provide further information and support on mental capacity matters

The toolkit is accessible online at, where users can register for free and access the content at their own pace and convenience.

The Feedback from the Event

At the launch event, we introduced our toolkit to our delegates, who included nurses, social workers, academics, students, service users, carers, and representatives from various organisations. We also shared some of the background and findings of our research project, as well as some of our other work related to seldom heard voices.

After a light lunch and a warm-up quiz, we invited our delegates to log on to our toolkit and have a “play” with it. We also encouraged them to provide us with immediate feedback and suggestions on how to improve it. We received some very positive comments from our delegates, such as:

  • “I like the visual aspect of the tool”
  • “I really like the reflective nature of the tool and the questions it asks”
  • “The quizzes are great!”

We also received some constructive feedback on how to enhance our toolkit further, such as:

  • Adding a search function to make it easier to find specific topics or information
  • Providing a certificate of completion for CPD purposes
  • Including more examples or scenarios from different settings or contexts

We are very grateful for all the feedback we received from our delegates, and we will use it to improve our toolkit over the next few months. We are also happy to receive more feedback and suggestions from anyone who uses our toolkit via the “contact us” details on our website.

Our Thanks and Hopes

We would like to thank everyone who attended our launch event and supported our project. We would also like to thank our funders, the Burdett Trust for Nursing, and our partners from various organisations who contributed to our research and toolkit development.

We hope that our toolkit will be a useful resource for nurses and other professionals who work with people who may lack or have impaired mental capacity. We also hope that it will help them to improve their practice and outcomes for their patients or clients.

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