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
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”.
The Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini has been published by the Home Office today. It is the first and only review of policing practises and related processes following police related deaths.
The report offers the government a blueprint for change to urgently implement in the face of numerous recent concerning deaths.
It makes over 100 evidence based recommendations, which are intended to be a pragmatic way forward. These include important recommendations on: