Campaigners are calling for bold changes to be made to the Mental Health Act currently under review following the release of new data by regulators.

A report by the Care Quality Commission shows a deteriorating lack of patient involvement in plans to support people to recover from distress in hospital.

  • 32% of care plans reviewed showed no evidence of patient involvement. This was 29% last year.
  • 17% showed no evidence of consideration of the patient’s particular needs. This was 10% last year.
  • 31% showed no evidence of the patient’s views.
  • 17% showed no evidence of consideration of the least restrictive options for care. This compares to 10% of records last year.
  • 24% showed no evidence of discharge planning, compared with 32% last year.

Reaction

Rethink Mental Illness said: "If you go to hospital with a physical health condition you would expect your views about the treatment and care you’re getting to matter. So why are the views of people detained under the Mental Health Act not even being considered a third of the time?"

“This is a clear example of where practice under the Act is badly out of date. The Act is currently being reviewed, and this shows that bold changes need to be made in order to ensure that people are involved, listened to, and respected.”

Mind said: “There are some areas of real concern. Poor care planning and problems with advocacy are depriving people of a voice while they are in hospital, the overuse of physical restraint and the use of other forms of coercion that have no place in modern healthcare are still alarmingly wide-spread, and certain groups, such as young black men, continue to be worryingly over-represented in the figures. These aren’t new issues - the CQC has been highlighting them for years yet little has changed."

“It is clear that the Act and the way it’s applied isn’t working. With an independent review currently underway, there is an important opportunity to fight for legislation that is fit for purpose, and puts people at the heart of decisions made about their care."

"We know that we can’t look at the Act in isolation, without addressing the ongoing failures in mental health services which result in people ending up in crisis in the first place.”

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