Government pledges new Mental Health Act after review urges shift in power from professionals to patients

Mental Health - Sectionedsource:: Community Care
published: 6 December 2018

The government has committed to introduce a Mental Health Bill to transform care for detained patients after an independent review recommended new legislation that placed people’s rights, choices and dignity at its heart.

Following today’s publication of the final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983, the government has, so far, accepted two of its recommendations: (see the full report here)

  • To replace the nearest relative role, in which a patient is allocated a relative to be involved in decisions about their care, with that of a nominated person that they would choose
  • To allow people to make statutory advance choice documents setting out their preferences for inpatient treatment, which clinicians must honour unless there are compelling reasons not to

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Mental health triage scheme recognised internationally

Benjamin Zephaniah for 4WardEverUK & CI Sean Russell – The One Show 2014

source: West Midlands Police
published: 14 April 2018

A specialist emergency response unit which offers immediate assessments to suspected mental health sufferers in the West Midlands has been recognised internationally – after counterparts from Australia visited the region to learn about best practice.

The Mental Health Triage scheme sees West Midlands Police officers joined by psychiatric nurses and paramedics to attend calls from people who are believed to be suffering from mental ill health.

The successful police and NHS partnership means patients get on-the-spot assessments at their home or on the street and can be taken to safe health facilities for the support they need rather than held in police custody.

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Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: interim report

Mental Health Word Cloudsource: GOV.UK
published: 1 May 2018

Everybody has “mental health”, but far too many of us have mental health problems. For many years this has existed in a twilight zone, both in society in general and the NHS in particular.

There is now a welcome desire and indeed some success in bringing it into the light. The effect of light, though, is to illuminate not only what is important but also to draw attention to those areas which, whilst no longer in the dark, remain very much in the shadows.

In recent years, there has been necessary attention given to issues such as anxiety, depression, relationship problems, how people react to adversity and so on. We have seen unprecedented investment in talking therapies for those with common mental health problems, and an upsurge of general interest in mental health, aided by campaigns such as “Time to Change” or “Heads Together”.

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