Modernising the Mental Health Act: Increasing choice, reducing compulsion: Final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983

Department of Health and Social Care, December 2018

The final report sets out recommendations covering 4 principles that the review believes should underpin the reformed Act:

  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the Act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the Act
  • people as individuals – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as rounded individuals

The review looked at:

  • rising rates of detention under the Act
  • the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the Act
  • processes that are out of step with a modern mental health care system

Click here to view the report.

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Evaluation of the Advocacy in Wirral’s Independent Mental Health Act and Psychiatric Liaison Advocacy Services

Applied Health and Wellbeing Partnership, September 2018

Advocacy in Wirral (AiW) is a peer-led service which provides support, information and representation to people experiencing mental ill-health. AiW work across a range of areas, including community advocacy, welfare benefits, primary care advocacy, drug and alcohol advocacy, Independent Mental Capacity Act advocacy, and hospital advocacy. Hospital advocates provide advice and practical support regarding a range of issues, including welfare benefits, housing, employment, debts and legal issues. Hospital advocates can also attend ward rounds, accompany clients to meetings, and represent clients at local and regional meetings, helping to promote the needs of their client and bring about changes to the support and care of the client. Two elements of the AiW hospital advocacy service, Independent Mental Health Act (IMHA) advocacy and Psychiatric Liaison (PL) advocacy, have been evaluated to explore effectiveness and identity impacts and outcomes.

Click here to view the full report.

Women In Crisis: How Women And Girls Are Being Failed By The Mental Health Act

Agenda, August 2018

Agenda report establishing growing evidence that being detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 can be detrimental to women and girls’ wellbeing, with little attention paid to their particular needs, including their experiences of trauma. This can have devastating consequences for women and girls, as shown by previously unpublished figures on self-inflicted deaths outlined in this report.

Click here to view the full report.

Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2016/17

Care Quality Commission, March 2018

Annual report from the Care Quality commission on implementation of the Mental Health Act  that finds limited or no improvement in the key concerns that have been raised in the previous years. It concludes that mental health services are not doing enough to ensure that people whose liberty has been restricted under the Mental Health Act are able to exercise their rights; and that this situation is not improving.

Click here to view the full report.

Mental Health Act: the rise in the use of the MHA to detain people in England

Care Quality Commission, January 2018

Between 2005/06 and 2015/16, the reported number of uses of the Mental Health Act (MHA) increased by 40%. It is well established that people from Black and minority ethnic groups are much more likely to be detained than those in White British groups. In October 2017, in response to these and other concerns, the government announced an independent review of the MHA. This review will make recommendations for improvements to legislation and practice in late 2018.  This paper identifies the following key factors:

  • Changes in mental health service provision and bed management
  • Demographic and social change
  • Legal and policy developments that have influenced practice
  • Data reporting and data quality

Click here to view the full report.

A brief guide to Section 136 for Emergency Departments

Royal College of Emergency Medicine, December 2017

This guide outlines the process to be followed when police bring a person to the Emergency Department under a section136 of the Mental Health Act and the responsibilities of the different agencies caring for the person.  It notes the main change detailed is a reduction in duration of the section from 72 hrs to 24 hours. Under 18s are no longer allowed to be taken to a police cell and adults will only be taken to a police cell under certain circumstances. Police are also required to consult a mental health professional before applying a section 136 where possible.

Click here to read the full guidance.