The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
In 2010, the NHS set the goal of “parity of esteem” between mental and physical health services.
There has been little obvious progress towards this goal. In fact, in June of this year, the BMA revealed a 40% rise in mental health patients being sent out of their local area to get the care they needed, with often devastating consequences for patients and their families.
During the lead up to the general election this summer, Theresa May vowed to change the Act, if the Conservatives were successfully re-elected on 8 June.
Last week, the Government and the Department of Health have announced the appointment of Sir Simon Wessely (a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) as chair of an independent review of the Act, tasked to unpick key concerns regarding the working of the current mental health legislation, such as:
- the rising numbers of people detained under the Act;
- the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnicities being detained;
- concerns around processes and legislation which are outdated
Campaigners argue that the legislation as it stands is discriminatory and stigmatising, with far too much emphasis on risk, at the expense of the rights of the individual.
The Care Quality Commission have expressed concerns about rising numbers of detained patients, suggesting that one reason for this might be the lack of community alternatives to inpatient care.
This review will work with service users, carers, professionals and other organisations to try and achieve a broad consensus of the priorities for government to take forward. The outcome will be a series of recommendations within an interim report in the spring of 2018 and a final report in a year’s time.
This is an ambitious timetable, but a sensible approach.
It is far from clear that the Act bears responsibility for all the problems identified. Solutions may lie in updated legislation. Equally, funding, allocation of resources, practice or attitude may hold the key to real change. That a medical professional, rather than a lawyer is heading up the review may open the door to a more holistic exploration of the factors responsible for these important issues. In turn, this may lead to an acknowledgment that the solutions may be complex and multi-faceted, but also a commitment to effect real and lasting change.
For more information
Contact Sheree Green.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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