Readers will recall that the 2007 Act was the legislation which set out the amendments to be made to the Mental Health Act 1983.

Some of the key points are as follows:

  • Chapter 34 of the Mental Health Act Code of Practice will be amended following publication of the review into Winterbourne View hospital
  • There has been no anecdotal or statistical evidence to show that the appropriate treatment test has lead to any increase in the number of people detained
  • Responsibility for commissioning Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) will transfer to local authorities in April 2013 and guidance will be issued to ensure that all qualifying patients have access to the service
  • There is a reminder of the guidance issued to IMHAs on accessing patient records given concerns about patient confidentiality 
  • Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) have not been in place long enough to draw robust conclusions about the concerns that have been raised in connection with them. These concerns have related to use of CTOs, length of CTOs, equality issues, quality of care planning and support, safeguards and holding powers 
  • They highlight the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reviews of the Mental Health Act, and note that the 2010/11 report recommended that providers ensure that staff who care for patients subject to CTOs understand the scope and limitation of this power 
  • The report contains a reminder that delays in Second Opinion Appointed Doctors (SOAD) to providing an opinion in respect of treatment for Supervised Community Treatment (SCT) patients should be reduced by s299 of the Health and Social Care Act which states that approval by a SOAD will not generally be necessary if the patient is consenting to the treatment in question
  • Consideration is being given (post Rabone) to whether providers also have a responsibility in relation to SCT patients, and whether section 5 holding powers should be extended to SCT patients at the next legislative opportunity 
  • With regard to places of safety they highlight the case of MS v UK which was covered previously in our June Health Legal Update
  • With regard to DOLS the report notes that there continues to be concern about the complexity of safeguards and the CQC will continue to discuss these with the DH “as and when their overview of the system enables identification of areas for exploration”

The full report can be found here.