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Experiences of compulsory care and treatment in Scotland (poster presentation)

Julie Ridley, University of Central Lancashire
Co-presenter(s): Dr Ann Rosengard, Susan Hunter, Simon Little, Members of Service User Interviewer Team


The main purpose of the research study we will present, which was commissioned by Scottish Government Health Department, was to assist the further development of mental health law in Scotland. This evaluative study aimed to explore service users', carers' and a range of service professionals' experiences of living and working with the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.The study's objectives were ambitious and included: 1. To identify and describe the operation and impact of the Act in practice from the perspectives of all relevant stakeholder groups 2. To provide in-depth case studies of the journey taken by a sample of mental health service users over a one year period 3. To examine the ways in which different parts of the legislative system interact 4. To assess the success of measures providing access for mental health service users to leisure and employment services aimed at promoting well-being and social development 5. To assess the extent to which the provisions of the new Act are seen to meet the Millan Committee Principles from the perspective of all stakeholder groups 6. To provide recommendations of how the experiences of all stakeholders should continue to contribute to ongoing assessment and evaluation of the impact of the new Act Members of the evaluation team would co-present and discuss the ethical issues we faced in doing research with people who had experienced severe mental health problems, and as a result of adopting a participatory and involving approach with service users, who were employed within the research team. Both the professional researchers and service user researchers will share our experience of involvement and the difference this has made to the project. We will outline our methodology which included: . Consultation with local mental health service user groups . Consultation with national stakeholder organisations . Interviews with a range of different professionals and advocacy workers . In-depth case studies/examples of 49 service users' experiences at 2 stages . Interviews with informal carers in groups at 2 stages. Finally we will reflect upon the impact of service user involvement on the quality of the data and analysis and as far as possible, indicate some of the emerging key findings from the study by contrasting the experiences and perspectives of the three key stakeholders - service users, carers and a range of professionals including advocacy workers. (Please note that as this research is current and has been funded by SCottish Government, prior permission to present findings at this stage will need to be obtained from them. The final research report is not due until late September).

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