Summer school putting patient rights at the heart of health and social care

  • Date

    Thu 20 Jun 19

Woman sitting looking forlorn

Health and social care workers and research students concerned with how recent policy changes affect patient liberty and decision-making are invited to hear from a panel of international speakers at our Essex Autonomy Project summer school in July.

With stories of people with learning disabilities being abused in care and kept in isolation regularly hitting the headlines, and increasing numbers of dementia patients deprived of their liberty in care homes, getting the balance of power right between patients and professionals has never been more important.

Researchers, lawyers and healthcare professionals from around the world will discuss all the issues at the Essex Autonomy Project Summer School, which takes place at our Colchester Campus from 11 July to 13 July.

The Summer School offers all professionals working with vulnerable people the chance to hear about the latest research and recent policy changes.

Professor Wayne Martin, Director of the nationally-commended Essex Autonomy Project, said: “Right now the care sector in the UK is facing unprecedented change. The Mental Capacity Act Amendment Bill, which lays out the regulations for depriving a patient of their liberty, has just been passed. The Wessely Review has recommended changes to the Mental Health Act including proposals for enhancing patient autonomy in psychiatric hospitals. And the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published new guidelines for decision-making and mental capacity.

“All of these changes have a profound impact on how our health and social care workers do their jobs and how our society protects vulnerable people.”

Professor Wayne Martin
"The care sector in the UK is facing unprecedented change...all of these changes have a profound impact on how our health and social care workers do their jobs and how our society protects vulnerable people."
Professor Wayne Martin School of philosophy and art history

As well as Essex academics, the Summer School programme includes speakers from the Institute of Psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital, Cardiff Law School, 39 Essex Chambers, and researchers and activists from France and Peru. Topics covered will include law reform in England and Wales, capacity laws in practice, and developing guidance for legal and clinical professionals. It will be relevant to practitioners in social work, law, medicine and psychiatry, as well as policy makers, students and researchers.

Feedback from previous delegates has been overwhelmingly positive. Comments from those taking part include “everything was relevant, interesting and stimulating”, “the group work was fantastic, lots of opportunities to discuss the issues with a great range of people” and “the Summer School is an invaluable space to consider issues away from the immediacy of day-to-day implementation dilemmas.”

The Essex Autonomy Project is a major, interdisciplinary research and public policy initiative, led by philosophers at the University of Essex, exploring all the issues surrounding supporting and preserving patient autonomy in cases of serious psychiatric illness, brain injuries, disability or deteriorating physical health.

The Essex Autonomy Project Summer School takes place at the University of Essex, Colchester Campus, on 11, 12 and 13 July 2019. The fee is £425 and includes lunch, refreshments and Summer School materials. Book online today.