New review launched to tackle detention of people with mental ill health

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government will be reviewing current laws to reduce the number of people who are legally detained due to mental ill health.

Prime minister Theresa May has announced plans for an independent review of mental health legislation and practices, due to concerns that detention rates under the Mental Health Act are too high.

“The government has launched an independent review of mental health legislation and practices to tackle the issue of mental health detention.“

The Act sets out rights and obligations that govern when and how the state can detain and treat someone in relation to their mental illness, but was passed more than three decades ago and may need updating.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, will chair the review, which will seek to address concerns about how the legislation is currently being used, and offer recommendations for improvements.

Specifically, it aims to determine why rates of detention are increasing, what can be done to reduce inappropriate detention, and the reasons for the disproportionate number of people being detained who are from black and minority ethnic populations.

An interim report identifying priorities for the review's work is expected in early 2018, with a final report following later in autumn.

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