Understanding the legislative landscape in mental health

NHS Confederation, 15 September 2015

The Mental Health Network (MHN) have produced a briefing Horizon scanning: The legislative landscape in mental health aimed at bringing members up to speed on some of the legal developments relevant to mental health which have taken place in the last twelve months as well as some of the legislative proposals currently under consideration.

Click here for further information and to access the briefing.

Accessing and sharing health records and patient confidentiality

House of Commons, September 2015

This briefing describes how patients may request access to their records, and the circumstances in which access to the records of others may be allowed.  The briefing also describes statutory and public interest disclosures of patient information; information sharing rules for people who lack mental capacity; and access to information on hereditary conditions for relatives.

Click here for further information and to access the briefing.

Mental health aftercare in England and Wales

Department of Health, March 2015

From 1 April 2015 the local authority responsible for mental health aftercare services, under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (the Act), will normally be the one where the person was ordinarily resident immediately before they were detained under the Act.

This document has details about arrangements for referring disputes over ordinary residence in cases where one or more authority in dispute is in England and one or more is in Wales.

These arrangements only apply where services are provided under section 117 of the Act.

Click here for further information.


New Mental Health Act Code of Practice published

NHS Confederation, 1 April 2015

The revised Mental health Act Code of Practice is now in effect, replacing the 2008 Code.

The revised Code seeks to provide stronger protection for patients and clarify roles, rights and responsibilities. This includes involving the patient and as appropriate, their families and carers in discussions about the patient’s care at every stage; providing personalised care; minimising the use of inappropriate blanket restrictions, restrictive interventions and the use of police cells as places of safety.

Click here for further information from the NHS Confederation website.

Click here to download the new code of practice.

Involving Young People and Children in Policy, Practice and Research

National Children’s Bureau, February 2015

NCB has published a collection of essays, Involving Children and Young People in Policy, Practice and Research, which looks at how children and young people can actively participate in the development of government policy and legislation, and how professionals, such as social workers, nursery staff, and researchers, can involve them in their work. The essays underline why children’s opinions matter – including those who are the most challenging to engage with – and the impact that their insights can provide.

Click here for further information and to download the report.

Revised code of practice: Mental Health Act 1983

Department of Health, January 2015

As well as providing guidance for professionals, the revised code of practice also guides patients, their families and carers on their rights.

The code was revised to take account of stakeholders’ views during our consultation, and reflects changes in legislation, case law, policy and professional practice since its last revision in 2008. The response to the consultation will be published later this week.

The code of practice will come into force on 1 April 2015, depending on Parliamentary approval. It has been prepared in accordance with section 118 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Click here to download the code of practice.

Care Act 2014: statutory guidance for implementation

Department of Health, October 2014

The Department of Health have finalised guidance which sets out how the Care Act will work in practice when the first phase of the reforms comes into effect next year.

There is also an easy read summary of the guidance.

Click here to view the guidance.

Click here to view the factsheets which accompany Part 1 of the Care Act 2014.  These provide an overview and the duties and powers local authorities will have in the future.

These documents relate to the parts of the care and support reforms that come into effect in April 2015. They were produced as a result of extensive consultation. Click here to view the Department of Health’s response to the consultation including proposed final regulations.