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Preparing for Mental Health Act reform: Pilot study of co-produced implementation strategies for Advance Choice Documents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
JournalWellcome Open Research
Published7 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Thanks to all the Crisis PACk participants, Dr Nicola Byrne and Jane Stewart. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Stephenson LA et al.

King's Authors


Advance Decision Making (ADM) is strongly supported by stakeholders but implementation remains challenging. In England and Wales, implementation strategies are urgently required to prepare for the introduction of mental health ‘Advance Choice Documents’ (ACDs) as part of Mental Health Act reforms. We report on a pilot project which aimed to co-produce and evaluate implementation strategies for ACDs with those who experience fluctuating mental capacity in the context of bipolar.

A co-produced prototype ACD template was piloted in ‘Plan, Do, Study Act’ (PDSA) cycles. Implementation strategies were co-produced with participants and mapped onto the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) framework. Strategies were evaluated during thematically analysed qualitative interviews.

We piloted the template with 17 service users during 5 successive PDSA cycles and conducted 75 in depth interviews with stakeholders. Key strategies identified as accessible, appropriate and feasible were: interactive assistance from an independent ‘supporter’, a structured template and active offers of involvement to service users and informal carers.

Mental health professionals and organisations must prepare for increased expectations around mental health ADM. We recommend further pilot projects and the establishment of ‘ACD workshops’. Resource is essential to fund independent ‘supporters’, training, network building and embedding ADM in clinical pathways.

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