Lucy Series

PhD student Lucy Series.

Community care - making decisions in Cornwall

University of Exeter

Community health issues can impact upon the well-being of communities. At present direction on community care comes from the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), which was introduced to offer clarity on when decisions could be taken on behalf of adults who may lack the mental capacity to make them themselves. A related framework, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), specifies when adults can be detained on capacity-related grounds. 

Research into the impact of how the MCA and the DoLS framework are applied in various care settings is limited. The University of Exeter, in partnership with Cornwall Care, recruited PhD student Lucy Series to develop skills as a socio-legal researcher in the sphere of community care. 

Lucy said: “By working closely with the local authority and local businesses and charities, the work undertaken is specific to the concerns of local people. Through my work, I have considered the issues that arise in various care settings and how these are related to those issues that typically end up in court.” 

As a result of her studies and research Lucy has been able to develop bespoke legal training in relation to community care for the benefit of local authorities and charities. She has provided specific support in some areas of concern by sourcing materials and locating resources required.

To disseminate her research Lucy has developed a blog which is widely accessed by academics, legal practitioners, campaigners and carers. As a result of this, and of work that has been made available nationally, the Care Quality Commission have invited Lucy to join their advisory group on the ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ which will allow communities and individuals to benefit from her work well into the future.

Lucy has also had numerous articles published in sector specific magazines and national newspapers, enabling her to further reach her audience.