The Mental Health Act (MHA) Code of Practice is not being used as it was intended due to a lack of awareness and understanding of the statutory guidance amongst providers and staff.
A report published today by CQC found variation in providers’ understanding of the MHA Code of Practice and how it should be applied. This was the result of a review of how well the guidance has been implemented and used across mental health services since it was last updated in 2015.
The Code of Practice helps professionals and those working in services to interpret and apply the legislation to decision making in day-to day practice and to provide safeguards for involving and protecting people in mental health services.
The Code of Practice also includes guiding principles that should always be considered when decisions are being made about care, support or treatment in services that detain patients under the MHA.
However, CQC found during its review that providers lack understanding about how to promote, apply and report on the guiding principles as set out in the Code of Practice. This lends support to the recommendation by the Independent Mental Health Act Review that the guiding principles are moved into the MHA and have statutory force.
Source: Care Quality Commission 25th June 2019