The use of large up-front fees and disproportionate deposits has already resulted in significant cost consequences for one care provider.
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- concerns around processes and legislation which are outdated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.
The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.
Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.
We are now only a few weeks away from the biggest change to data protection laws in over 20 years. Are you compliant?
The tragedy, in this case, is that there were options readily available to the midwives that they could have used. This was not a case of having to go above and beyond.
Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.
The SCCS has issued providers in the scheme a series of updated and new documents in order to assist with their National Minimum Wage review.
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