Review of Mental Health Act sets out achievable changes to improve access to services
06 December 2018
- The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act is publishing its recommendations to better support vulnerable people
- The review was carried out by Professor Sir Simon Wessely
- They recommend people's wishes and preferences should carry far more legal weight
- They argue that action is needed for people from ethnic minority communities, children and young people, people in the criminal justice system, and those with a learning disability, autism, or both
- The review recommends the use of compulsion should be targeted and justifications should be transparent
- They also say services should be modernised as laws are modernised.
The deputy chief executive at NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
"We welcome the measured recommendations put forward by the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act.
"The review sets out achievable changes to the Mental Health Act which will improve how consistently patient wishes and preferences are considered, reduce inappropriate detentions and tackle variation in the way that different providers of care meet the needs of patients.
"But reform of the Act alone will not be enough. We also need to address the underlying issues affecting how and where good quality mental health services are accessed.
To enact change we must ensure that mental health is given the resources to ensure services are both available and most appropriate to meet patients' needs.
"Demand for NHS mental health services is rising rapidly, while the sector continues to face severe staffing challenges. Extra funding for mental health services just isn't reaching the frontline leaving those in need waiting too long for appropriate care. To enact change we must ensure that mental health is given the resources to ensure services are both available and most appropriate to meet patients' needs.
"We look forward to seeing how the forthcoming long term plan for the NHS and social care green paper will make sure people with mental health needs are cared for and supported with dignity while staying in hospital or within the community."