Mental Health Act Review interim report: clear need for change

An interim report summarises the early findings of the independent team reviewing the Mental Health Act. The authors say: ‘People with serious mental illness are suffering neglect and discrimination when they have been detained for treatment…too many of those sectioned under the Mental Health Act are receiving a lack of dignity and respect from staff’. VoiceAbility teams in Birmingham, Northants, Doncaster and Camden have provided evidence to this Review. 

An interim report summarises work so far of the independent team reviewing the Mental Health Act. An executive summary can be found here with the full report here.

The authors say:

People with serious mental illness are suffering neglect and discrimination when they have been detained for treatment…too many of those sectioned under the Mental Health Act receiving a lack of dignity and respect from staff.

VoiceAbility's teams in Birmingham, Northants, Doncaster and Camden provided evidence and contributed to this Review. 

Advocacy is amongst the many issues the review team will explore more. The will consider:

  1. How can services ensure advocacy is available and suitable for all, especially in terms of being culturally appropriate?
  2. Should the right to advocacy should be extended to more people?
  3. Do the requirements for advocacy need to be better set out in law or guidance? Could different advocacy services be streamlined?
  4. What is the current state of IMHA training and how could we increase its quality?
  5. How could national standards, reporting requirements, monitoring and oversight, or other mechanisms be used to facilitate better implementation and delivery of advocacy services?

The final report, with recommendations, is due out in Autumn 2018.

Rethink Mental Illness and Adelphi Research UK have released a their own report on making the Mental Health Act more person-centred and fit for the future. 

Titled ‘No voice, no choice’ the report makes 4 recommendations to help improve care:

  1. Greater overall involvement of service users in their care via mandatory access to IMHAs within 48 hours of admission (currently, service users have a right to access advocacy, but not within set timeframes).
  2. The standardisation of information provided to include more information on rights to tribunals and appeals, along with details of medicines and potential side effects.
  3. A change to legislation on the appointment of the Nearest Relative, to give service users the right to choose their own representative.
  4. Inclusion of Advance Decisions as a routine component within the care pathway and legislative changes that give legal weight to Advance Decisions.

Read more news stories