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The Mental Health Act Review: Towards A Rights-Based Mental Health Act

Monday 13 May 2019
De Vere West One Conference Centre, London

The Mental Health Act Review: Towards A Rights-Based Mental Health Act
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The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act Final Report was released on 6th December 2018

This conference developed in consultation with Steve Gilbert, Serious Mental Illness – Living Experience Consultant, Bipolar, PTSD & Suicide Survivor & Vice-Chair Mental Health Act Review, and with a Keynote Address from Prof Sir Simon Wessely, Chair, The Mental Health Act Review, focuses on The Mental Health Act Review - Towards a rights-based Mental Health Act:  Implications for Practice.  The Mental Health Act Review Final Report includes 154 recommendations for change and improvement. This conference looks at the principles behind these recommendations, and the implications for practice to ensure you are ready for the changes, and are implementing the government recommendations in terms of the rights and autonomy of patients.

On the one hand, the Mental Health Act takes away your liberty and imposes treatment that you don’t want. It can be traumatic, frightening and confusing. But on the other it can help restore health, and even be life-saving. It is an imposition on personal freedom, but it can also help people to become freer from the pain and distress that accompanies the most severe of mental illnesses.” Prof Sir Simon Wessely, Chair The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act Final Report December 2018

“Our recommendations cover a number of areas, but if I was asked to name the most important theme it would be this - patients must be supported to make more choices for themselves.” Prof Sir Simon Wessely, Chair The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act Final Report December 2018

“The changes recommended by the Review set out to give much greater legal weight to people's wishes and preferences and to require stronger, transparent justification for using compulsory powers. They address the needs of particular groups affected by the Act including people from minority ethnic communities, and they call for improvements in services.
The recommendations include:

  • introducing advance choice documents so that people can set out their wishes about future care and treatment, which would have more weight than they do in the current system
  • advocates for all mental health inpatients (whether voluntary or detained) without having to ask for one
  • advocates who are skilled in responding to people's cultural needs
  • a statutory care and treatment plan to include people's wishes
  • earlier access to a second opinion and a right to appeal against treatments
  • more scope for tribunals to respond to people's concerns about their care
  • choice of which friend or family member has a role in decisions about sectioning and care, by making the current ‘nearest relative’ role a ‘nominated person’ that you can choose yourself
  • a complete end to the use of police cells when initially detained and an end to the use of police vehicles for taking people to hospital
  • a systematic approach to improving how mental health services respond to their local population's ethnic and cultural background.”

Mind 2019

“Our intention remains to reform mental health law and so the Government will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.
I can today accept two of the report’s recommendations, which both highlight the Review’s focus on increasing the rights and autonomy of patients –

  • The establishment of new statutory advance choice documents (ACDs), so that people’s wishes and preferences can carry far more legal weight. These would enable people to express preferences on their care and treatment, to help ensure that these preferences are considered by clinicians, even when the person may be too ill to express themselves.
  • Ensuring that people have a say in which relative has power to act for them, through the creation of a new role of Nominated Person, to be chosen by the patient, rather than allocated to them from a list of relatives. This person would have enhanced powers in their role; both to be informed about the person’s detention in hospital and to be involved in decisions made about their care.”

UK Parliament 6th December 2018

This conference will enable you to:

  • Network with colleagues who are working to implement the recommendations from the December 2018 Mental Health Act Review Final Report
  • Understand the priority recommendation for changes in practice
  • Learn from outstanding practice in delivering choice and autonomy
  • Ensure you are up to date with national developments and learning
  • Reflect on lived experience
  • Develop your skills in moving to a rights based approach
  • Understand the legal principles and implications for practice
  • Identify practical strategies for ensuring choice of which friend or relative has a role in decisions about sectioning and care
  • Delivering advance choice documents for people to set out their wishes about future care and treatment
  • Reduce compulsion and implement greater safeguards around compulsory treatment
  • Improve discharge, care planning and aftercare
  • Self assess and reflect on your own practice
  • Gain cpd accreditation points contributing to professional development and revalidation evidence


100% of delegates at our previous conference on this subject would recommend it to a colleague

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