19th December 2018
Independent Review of the Mental Health Act
With the news filled with Brexit it is possible you may have missed an important piece of news which hopefully will have a positive impact on many of our clients. On the 6th December the independent review of the Mental Health Act has completed its work and published its recommendations to the UK Government.
This review confirmed the startling figure that in 2017/18 49,551 people were detained in a Mental Health Hospitals, sectioned through legislation that is 35 years old and not fit for purpose the 1983 Mental Health Act, a staggering 40% increase from 2005/6.
The review in total makes 154 recommendations to improve care and treatment of the most vulnerable in society including
- introducing advance choice documents so that people can set out their wishes about future care and treatment, which would have more weight than they do in the current system
- advocates for all mental health inpatients (whether voluntary or detained) without having to ask for one
- advocates who are skilled in responding to people's cultural needs
- a statutory care and treatment plan to include people's wishes
- earlier access to a second opinion and a right to appeal against treatments
- more scope for tribunals to respond to people's concerns about their care
- choice of which friend or family member has a role in decisions about sectioning and care, by making the current 'nearest relative' role a 'nominated person' that you can choose yourself
- a complete end to the use of police cells when initially detained and an end to the use of police vehicles for taking people to hospital
- a systematic approach to improving how mental health services respond to their local population's ethnic and cultural background.
As one of the North West's largest specialist Mental Health Legal Providers who represent daily clients detained under this Act, fighting for their rights, liberty and being their voice, we are particularly pleased to see the recommendation that detention stages and timelines are reformed and less restrictive. This includes including introducing a second clinical opinion at 14 days of admission, reducing the initial maximum detention periods, introducing a new time limit by which a bed must be found following an order for detention and there is a full review of criteria of detention prior to a tribunal taking place.
The review should also be applauded for introducing an easy guide to its important work for all to understand which can be found HERE.
The full review can be found HERE.
At Roebucks, our mental health team support you or a loved one who are enduring Mental Health problems and are detained in a hospital by ensuring;
- Your legal rights are protected and your right of appeal/review is exercised.
- Your voice is heard and your views are expressed supported by one of our qualified advocates.
- You are compassionately helped through what can be a daunting and confusing process.
- You receive the appropriate treatment both within hospital and community.
- An application is made to the Legal Aid Agency which in the vast majority of cases mean there are no fees to pay.
Please contact the Mental Health Team on 01254 274000 for a confidential chat to see if we can assist and support you or a loved one as awareness and understanding of everyone’s mental health is important.