The revised code makes many welcome changes including a greater emphasis on involving people who are under section in decisions about their care and providing more personalised care. It has more to say on complaints, safeguarding and how implementation of the code fits into the Care Quality Commission’s approach to regulating and rating health and care organisations.
It contains new and updated chapters on:
For the first time the code sets out duties towards people detained under immigration legislation who are moved to hospital under the Mental Health Act.
Other examples of ways in which the code has been strengthened include:
Mind is part of the Mental Health Alliance, a coalition of 75 organisations working for fair implementation of the Mental Health Act in England and Wales.
Suzanne Hudson, Chair of the Mental Health Alliance and CEO of Bipolar UK, said:
“The revised Code of Practice includes greater involvement of patients and better safeguarding of patients’ rights. All of us involved in the care of people subject to the Act need to take on board these welcome changes.
“However, guidance can only go as far as the legislation allows, and the Act itself is outdated, discriminatory and requires significant review.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.
“Whoever forms our next government must review the current legislation and ensure sufficient investment in mental health services to end the disparity between physical and mental health care.”
The code is subject to Parliamentary approval and will come into force on 1 April 2015.