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Positive risk-taking: from rhetoric to reality

Steve Morgan (Practice Based Evidence, Cardiff, UK)
Nick Andrews (School of Social Care Research, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




For health and social care services to become truly person-centred requires a fundamentally positive mindset from professionals and care workers, and a willingness to take some risks. The purpose of this paper is to explore how this will apply to delivering dementia services, where almost all of the initial impressions are of deficits, disability and disadvantage.


The co-authors combine their knowledge and experience of supporting and developing staff working in dementia services. The concept of positive risk-taking is explored within the legislative framework of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, Safeguarding and the Care Act 2014.


Practitioners face a range of challenges when it comes to supporting people living with dementia to take risks through exercising personal choices and making their own decisions. However, the concept of positive risk-taking applies equally to people living with dementia who have or who lack mental capacity in relation to their decision making.


This paper places positive risk-taking within a context of strengths-based, values-based and relationship-based working. Practical tips are offered for putting positive risk-taking into practice.



Morgan, S. and Andrews, N. (2016), "Positive risk-taking: from rhetoric to reality", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 122-132.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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