Effect of socioeconomic deprivation and the appointment of Welfare Attorneys

Booth, M.G., O'Neil, E., Haddow, C., Cook, B. and Kinsella, J. (2011) Effect of socioeconomic deprivation and the appointment of Welfare Attorneys. Scottish Medical Journal, 56(4), pp. 220-222. (doi:10.1258/smj.2011.011183) (PMID:22089044)

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Abstract

Most patients in intensive care unit (ICU) lack decision-making ability. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 allows someone to appoint a Welfare Attorney (WA) to act on their behalf should they lose capacity. Scotland has areas of major socioeconomic deprivation associated with lower life-expectancy and with a lack of knowledge about and consequently difficulty accessing services. The effect of socioeconomic deprivation on WA registration was investigated. A complete list of registered WAs was categorized by deprivation. The Public Guardian, Scotland indicated whether patients admitted to ICU at Glasgow Royal (April 2006–May 2009) had a WA registered. All Scottish ICU admissions (2004–2008) were categorized by deprivation. Twelve of 1152 ICU patients at Glasgow Royal had a WA. Of 165,997 WAs registered, 5984 were in the most deprived and 27,970 in the most affluent areas. Overall, 3.9% of the Scottish population had a WA (1.4% in the most, 6.5% in the least deprived population decile). In conclusion, the uptake of WAs was low, especially in deprived areas. The reasons could include a lack of knowledge, not anticipating the need for a WA or not being confident in the process. Any educational package needs to target the most socioeconomically disadvantaged.

Item Type:Articles (Other)
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kinsella, Professor John and Booth, Dr Malcolm
Authors: Booth, M.G., O'Neil, E., Haddow, C., Cook, B., and Kinsella, J.
Subjects:R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Scottish Medical Journal
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0036-9330
ISSN (Online):2045-6441

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