Reforming the Mental Health Act – have you responded to the consultation?

It is really great news that the government has now launched a new white paper and accompanying consultation for Reforming the Mental Health Act.

The review’s final report said that the Mental Health Act does not always work as well as it should for patients, their families and their carers. There is now a proposal for a wide range of changes to rebalance the Mental Health Act, to put patients at the centre of decisions about their own care and ensure everyone is treated equally.

The 4 principles that will be covered in the consultation are:
  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the MHA’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the MHA
  • the person as an individual – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as individuals

The white paper also contains new proposals about the care and treatment of people with learning disabilities that were not fully developed at the time of the review. This is a significant development in how people with learning disabilities are assessed and supported, with the aim of reducing the number of people detained to mental health units and to improve support for people in the community.

We would really encourage everyone to share their views on the changes to the Mental Health Act to help put service users at the centre of decisions about their own care.

The consultation is open now until 21st April 2021, here’s how to respond:


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