Vulnerable consumers

A qualitative study of how consumers with mental health problems and dementia experience legal services published by the Legal Services Board (LSB), England and Wales.

Why is this research important?

The LSB has a strategic objective to reduce the existing high levels of unmet legal need. Ensuring the needs of vulnerable consumers are understood and addressed is key to delivering legal services that everyone can access and trust. This research opens a window on the experiences of two specific groups of vulnerable consumers.

Why undertake this research?

Large and increasing numbers of people have mental health problems or dementia. It is estimated that one in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem during their lifetime. There are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, which is expected to reach 1 million by 2025. We also focused on vulnerabilities linked to mental health problems and dementia as these were areas identified during the scoping phase of our project as having less of an existing evidence base.  The LSB commissioned 60 in-depth interviews across England and Wales with individuals with either mental health problems or dementia (or their carers). All the participants had used, or tried but failed to use, legal services in the preceding 18 months.

All of the relevant outputs of this research and further background to the project can be found here.

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