Does the Mental Health Act need to be reformed?

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a consultation and White Paper on plans to reform the Mental Health Act. 

This follows a report released in 2018 that outlines that the Mental Health Act does not always work in the best interests of patients, their families and their carers.

The report sets out various recommendations to amend the Act so it does work in the best interests of individuals, in both practice and in law.

The Department of Health and Social Care is proposing a wide range of changes to rebalance the Mental Health Act, to put “patients at the centre of decisions about their own care and ensure everyone is treated equally.” 

The proposed amendments are based on the following principles:

  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the Mental Health Act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the MHA
  • the person as an individual – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as individuals

The closing date for responses is 21st April 2021. The White Paper and consultation documents are at the website below.

If you would like any further information of this, then please contact Scott on 0113 288 5688 or by email at

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