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Centre for Mental Health welcomes today’s report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 has set out recommendations for government on how the Act and associated practice needs to change.

The report, Modernising the Mental Health Act, sets out a comprehensive and wide ranging set of recommendations to make the Mental Health Act work better for people.

Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sarah Hughes said today: “The Mental Health Act plays such an important part in governing the way people are supported when they are most unwell. It gives the state powers to detain and treat people against their will, and as such it is vital that the Act is modernised to ensure people have their rights taken seriously at every stage and that everyone is treated with dignity and respect throughout."

“The Mental Health Act we have today is in many ways outdated and paternalistic. The Review’s recommendations should go a long way to bringing the Act into the twenty-first century by ensuring people have more rights to say how they want to be treated, including by making advance decisions that professionals have to take more seriously. Its proposals to extend access to independent advocacy and restrict the use of community treatment orders should also help to put more limits on the use of coercion. And its recommendations for improved safeguards throughout the system should help to ensure that fewer people spend months and years in locked wards when they no longer need to be in hospital."

“The report makes important recommendations to tackle longstanding inequalities in the use of the Act, particularly among people from African and Caribbean communities and other minority ethnic groups who continue to be disproportionately subject to compulsory powers. It is vital that the review’s recommendations for race equality are implemented in full as part of a much wider effort to tackle racism and discrimination at every level in our society."

Read the full report here

Source: Department of Health & Social Care 6th December 2018


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6 December 2018

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