Government announces review to tackle mental health detentions

In her speech to the Conservative Party conference yesterday the Prime Minister announced plans for an independent review of mental health legislation and practice in order to tackle the controversial issue of mental health detention rates which have risen year-on-year since the Mental Health Act came into force in 1983.

The Prime Minister announced that the review will be chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It will be aimed at tackling concerns about shortfalls in mental health services and misuse of the statutory powers of detention. The review will consider why detention rates are disproportionately high amongst members of the black and minority ethnic populations and what should be done about it.

The Government’s plan is that, following a period of consultation, Sir Simon will produce a final report containing detailed recommendations by autumn 2018.

This review is said to be part of a set of measures aimed at improving mental health provision and tackling, what the Prime Minister described in her speech as, the “injustice and stigma associated with mental health”.

If you have any questions or require any advice on the issues discussed in this update please contact Kathryn Riddell on: (0191) 2267829 or

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