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Published 10 May 2018
The Mental Health Act - and the broader mental health system which surrounds it - is currently under the microscope via a wide-ranging independent review commissioned by the government.
The review's recently published interim report summarises what it has found so far and gives us a taste of the changes we could see recommended when the final report is published later this year.
In this briefing, we look at some of the stand-out options for change being considered.
The independent review's interim report is very clear that "...the MHA needs to change".
Why does it need to change? Key drivers for reform picked up by the review so far include:
These are just a few of the areas the review will focus on as it undertakes its broad-ranging look at the system and moves towards making recommendations for change in its final report.
The interim report gives us a glimpse of what a future MHA might look like.
Specifically, the list of 'issues for further consideration' set out in the report suggests that the final recommendations could potentially include, for example:
The interim report recognises, however, that solving the current problems cannot rely on legislation alone, and the final report is also likely to recommend wider systems and practice changes aimed at achieving the review's ultimate goal which is to 'make the MHA work better for everyone'.
The independent review will now consider in more detail the issues/focus areas set out in the interim report, with a view to publishing its final report and recommendations.
No specific timescale has been given for the final report other than 'later this year'.
The expectation is that the recommendations will then be used by the government to help create a 'forward-looking plan of changes' to legislation and associated practice.
In the meantime, the review is continuing to invite anyone with evidence/experiences relevant to any of these issues to get in touch via MHActreview@dh.gsi.gov.uk.
Our national team of mental health and mental capacity specialists have extensive experience in advising health and social care providers - both in the NHS and the independent sector - in relation to all aspects of the law in this area, including:
We also provide training on all aspects of the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act, including induction and refresher courses for S.12 Approved Clinicians.
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