A questionnaire survey of general hospital doctors was conducted before and after a 1h training intervention. Baseline levels of knowledge and confidence regarding the use of section 5(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 and assessment and management of incapacitated patients were determined. Following a training intervention, improvements in these areas were established.
Eighteen doctors participated. Confidence in assessing capacity and the knowledge of treatment under common law and section 5(2) were low at baseline. Improvements were seen following the training intervention, with four knowledge items relating to section 5(2) achieving statistically significant improvements.
Simple training interventions delivered by psychiatrists may be an effective way of improving the knowledge and confidence of general hospital doctors.
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