Mental health laws face major overhaul amid plan to give patients more say over their care
- Patients suffering a mental health crisis to be given more choices over their care
- Health secretary Matt Hancock described the proposals a ‘significant moment’
- Ministers say the reforms will bring mental health laws ‘into the 21st century’
Reforms to mental health laws ‘will bring them into the 21st century’, ministers pledged last night.
Patients suffering a mental health crisis will be given greater choice and autonomy over their care under proposals to overhaul the Mental Health Act.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said this was ‘a significant moment’ that will finally bring parity between mental and physical health services.
Patients will be given greater choice over the care as part of the proposals to overhaul the Mental Health Act (file photo)
The proposals aim to tackle mental health inequalities including the disproportionate detention of ethnic minorities.
Mr Hancock said: ‘We need to bring mental health laws into the 21st century. Reforming the Mental Health Act is one of our central manifesto commitments, so the law helps get the best possible care to everyone who needs it.’
Health secretary called the plans a ‘significant moment’
The proposed reforms also aim to address concerns about those with learning disabilities and autism detained in mental health hospitals.
The Government will also consult on how to improve access to community-based mental health support, including crisis care, to prevent avoidable detentions.
The Government also wants to end the ‘outdated practice’ of using prisons as ‘places of safety’ for defendants, with plans for judges to work with medical professionals to ensure they are taken directly to a healthcare setting from court.
Sarah Hughes, chief executive at the Centre for Mental Health, said: ‘Every year, the number of people who are sectioned grows.
‘While we know this can save lives, the use of coercion can also cause lasting trauma and distress.’