Touchstone’s involvement in the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

The review was set up to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can improve. The purpose of the review is to understand the reasons for:

  • rising rates of detention under the Act
  • the disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the Act
  • processes that are out of step with a modern mental health care system

The review will seek the views of service users, carers, relevant professionals, and affected organisations in producing recommendations. It will produce a report with recommendations for change in Autumn 2018.

During phase 1 of the review Touchstone held focus groups as part of the review to gather the views of service users and carers of people who had been detained under the Act. Participants were also supported to complete the questionnaires on a one to one basis with an emphasis on feeding back experiences from people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the act.

An interim report was published May 2018 with an update on the review’s findings.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-the-mental-health-act-interim-report

Following phase 1 of the review, Touchstone was invited to join a working group focusing on the topic addressing rising detention rates along with other professionals, carers and service users to review the call for evidence.

The review has since run 3 workshops in August 2018 to discuss the review so far and the potential options for change. One of these workshops was held in Liverpool where staff and service users from Touchstone attended to provide further feedback. The workshop focused on changing culture and environments, advance decision making, from ‘nearest relative’ to ‘nominated person’ and reforming the role of ‘hospital manager’.

Touchstone’s involvement in the final stages of the review will be to hold a follow up focus group. The first set of focus groups helped the review team to identify priorities for change. The second set will be an opportunity for participants to consider emerging ideas from the review and provide feedback. The second focus group is provisionally booked for Friday 28th September, 2-4pm at Touchstone Support Centre, 53-55 Harehills Avenue, Leeds, LS8 4EX. If you would like to attend please call on 0113 219 2727 and ask to speak with Laura Giles.

There is still opportunity to get involved with the review. If you have evidence or experiences relevant to issues and topics set out in the interim report, please email MHActReview@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

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