MP Committee publishes report on Mental Health Act

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Posted on 14/08/2013

The Health Committee heard from Mind and other charities about problems with the use of the Act

Mind, the Mental Health Alliance and other charities gave evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee earlier this year about the use of the Mental Health Act. The Commitee's report, out today, highlights severe pressure on beds, rising use of Community Treatments Orders and confusion over the use of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards for people detained under the Mental Capacity Act, among other problems.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, the mental health charity, said:

"The committee’s report paints a picture that, sadly, will be all too familiar to many who have found themselves subject to the Mental Health Act. People with mental health problems ought to be able to feel confident that, should they be detained under section, powers to detain and treat them and make decisions on their behalf will be used with great care and for the right reasons. It is clear from the evidence presented to the committee that, too often, this is not the case. 

We welcome the committee’s recommendation that Ministers should review the current operation of Community Treatment Orders. Mind has long had concerns that they are being overused and that people are being treated under coercion for the wrong reasons. In light of the OCTET study published in the Lancet earlier this year, which concluded that they don’t reduce hospital readmissions, we believe CTOs should now be repealed. 

We support the committee’s calls for the Department of Health to review Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, to resolve the ongoing confusion about their use and to ensure that people who are at their most vulnerable have their fundamental human rights protected."

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