Care Minister Norman Lamb today announced a consultation aiming to strengthen the rights of people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems. Mind has welcomed the proposals and looks forward to engaging with the consultation which is open until the end of May.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said:
“Mind welcomes this drive to strengthen the rights of people with mental health problems and will be consulting and considering the proposals carefully. There is much to welcome in the consultation paper and we are particularly pleased to see plans that would give people the right to challenge admissions, request discharge and transfer and to have more say in their aftercare planning. Also, the proposal to end the use of police custody as a ‘place of safety’ for under 18s and substantially reducing its use for others, is an important change we need to see happen urgently.
“But while there is much to welcome in the consultation, we think there still needs to be a more fundamental review of the Mental Health Act. The Act remains outdated, discriminatory and requires significant review. Most fundamentally, people can be forcibly treated for mental health problems against their will regardless of their capacity to make decisions about their healthcare. This cannot happen in any other area of health care.
“We look forward to engaging in the consultation and strongly encourage others to do the same, so together we can push to end the disparity between physical and mental health care.”
The full consultation document can be found here