Archive for July, 2007

Update Mental Health Act 2007.

July 26, 2007

SUMMARY OF THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2007 As at 19th July 2007.  

The Mental Health Act 2007 gained Royal Assent on the 19th of July 2007; it amends the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. 

 Key provisions within the Mental Health Act 2007 

Although the structure of the Mental Health Act 1983 remains intact, some significant changes have been made to it by the 2007 legislation.  They include:


§     The introduction of a simplified definition of mental disorder that will apply throughout the Act, and the abolition of the current four separate categories of mental disorder

§     A requirement that appropriate treatment must be available if patients are to be subject to detention or the new provisions for supervised treatment in the community

§     The introduction of supervised community treatment, which will be available for patients following an initial period of detention and treatment in hospital

§     The replacement of the Responsible Medical Officer with a Responsible Clinician, who need not be a consultant psychiatrist (but must be an ‘approved clinician’)

§     The replacement of the Approved Social Worker with an Approved Mental Health Professional; in addition to registered social workers other mental health professionals will be able to take on the role of AMHP after suitable training

§     A new ground for an application to be made to the county court for the nearest relative of a patient to be displaced, and a new power to enable the patient to apply to the county court for the displacement of their nearest relative

§     A duty on hospital managers to ensure that an age-appropriate environment is provided to all patients who are under the age of 18 years

§     For capacious 16 or 17 year old patients their consent or refusal to admission informally may not be overridden by a person with parental responsibility for them

§     A requirement that those performing functions under the Act have regard to the Code of Practice published under the Act, and that the Code includes a statement of principles that must inform decisions taken under the Act

§     Abolition of the power to impose electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) on a capacious detained patient in a non-emergency situation

§     The introduction of a new independent mental health advocacy scheme for qualifying patients

§     Changes to the provisions that require the Hospital Managers to refer a patient’s case to the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT)

§     The abolition of finite restriction orders

§     The power to transfer a s136 patient from one place of safety to another

§     A new power to “take and convey” a guardianship patient to the place where they are required to reside

§     Increase the tariff for an offence of ill-treatment


The amendments to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 will provide a procedure for the authorisation of the deprivation of liberty of persons resident in hospital or care home, who lack capacity (for the decision to reside there), and who are not subject to the mental health legislation safeguards.  These are known as the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS).


The amendment to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 will extend victim’s rights to information about the discharge of mentally disordered offenders.


Next steps


The Welsh Ministers are preparing the subordinate legislation arising from the 2007 Act and the Acts that the new legislation amends.  The Lord Chancellor will be preparing the MHRT Rules.


There will be a new Mental Health Act Code of Practice for Wales, and a new Code for England.  The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice (which covers England and Wales) will be amended to include guidance on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.


It is anticipated that most of the provisions of the 2007 Act will be brought into force in England and Wales in October 2008.

 Mental Health Act Implementation Project 

The Welsh Assembly Government has established an implementation project to secure full and successful transition to the amended legislative frameworks without detriment to either service users, carers, staff or public, within the timescales set by the legislative process.


The Assembly will be issuing revised Implementation Guidance shortly, and further guidance and information will also be made available in due course.


For further information on the Mental Health Act 2007 or the Assembly’s Implementation Project, please contact:


                        Claire Fife, Mental Health Act Implementation Project Manager

                        Welsh Assembly Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff. CF10 3NQ




A copy of the Act is available online at the Office of Public Service Information:


Mons Mental Health User and Carer Network and Forum

July 22, 2007

This coming Wednesday 25 July is the next meeting of the Network and Forum – held at The Sessions House, 43 Maryport Street, Usk.   As there is a lot to do the format has changed a little.   The work to draft a proposal for Big Lottery funding continues.  As we need to meet to discuss that we have decided to combine that meeting with the Forum as the work is interlinked.   The Forum will meet at 10am until 12 noon and there will be a Powerpoint Presentation for you to discuss. The Presentation will be given by Sian Leonard – Director of Social Firms Wales.
 At 12 there will be a one hour break for you to either get some lunch or eat the food you may prefer to bring with you.   We are able to provide tea, coffee and water as usual, and a comfortable room to relax in.    The Network will meet at 1pm in the Mental Health Resource Room and will have time to reconsider the morning’s discussion, and also to talk about the photography and video project that we want to get going shortly.   It is also hoped that we will have time to mention a possible new project – for now we can call it MediaWatch – but will need to give it a name of our own – and it may be of particular interest to Carers as well as Service Users.  If you can’t make both parts of the day perhaps you could come along to either the morning or afternoon – though we would love to see you at both!  Service Users and Carers who are on our e-mail list are receiving our monthly News sheet – CONCUR -if you are not on the list but have e-mail, then please let me have your e-address and I will include you in the circulation.   If you have a friend who would like to receive a printed copy by post, then send me the name and address.  Just click on Comments (below) and enter the information or request and I will deal with it.

Bullying and Bullying in the workplace

July 22, 2007

It’s obvious from the continuing interest in bullying posts and links that people are still needing support and help.   The following is a link sent to me by someone experiencing bullying in their place of work, and you may find it helpful.

Let me know what you think of the site. 

Mental Health News – find it in Pages on right

July 12, 2007

New entry from the Mental Health Alliance site updating on the Mental Health Bill.

What ARE We??

July 12, 2007

A Rose Still Smells as Sweet

This is an old rant of mine.

Once upon a time, I worked in the mental health services as first a mental health worker, and later as a counselor. I spent 10 years in this field.

When I first started out, we called the people we were helping “patients”. A few years later, we were told to now call them “clients”. Yet, again, a few years later, we were told that these people were “consumers”.

We were told this was all in an effort to remove the stigma from having a mental illness.

Yet, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc are still called illnesses. They are diagnosed, and treated with many medical interventions like medicine. Sounds like they are patients to me.

I didn’t even mind “client”. It implies a contractual relationship, whereby someone goes to a professional to receive services to solve a problem. It has a certain feeling of positive action on the part of the person seeking help.

But, “consumer”? It seems (to me) to imply a “consuming of resources”, without bringing anything to the table. When in fact no medical intervention will be completely successful without the “patient” actively participating in their treatment plan.

My other argument has to do with the effort to remove a stigma that is attached to mental illness. The stigma is not attached to the name “patient”, or “client”; it attached to the illness. No matter how many times they change the name, it does not change the nature of the illness. Until we address this issue head on instead of cloaking it in fancy name changes every few years, the stigma will remain.

These people suffer enough. Dealing with mental illness is a lifelong process, often with painful relapses. Just the struggle to find the right medications can be an ordeal. I think that people who are actively dealing with their illnesses deserve to be recognized for their heroic efforts.

Mental Health Bill – message from Mind.

July 10, 2007

Dear campaigner The Mental Health Bill has completed its parliamentary stages and is now waiting for Royal Assent. We have managed to secure some significant improvements to the Government’s original plans. Thanks to the incredible endurance and persistence of members of the Mental Health Alliance and to individuals such as yourself who have lobbied their MPs, we have helped to significantly improve this legislation. It’s not perfect by a long way, and we must continue to monitor closely the detail of implementation as it’s developed, but we have shown that working together can make a real difference. The Bill now contains:

    • A set of Principles (even though they are not as far reaching as we had hoped
    • A clause on treatability ensuring that patients under section can only be given medical treatment for a mental disorder if the purpose of the treatment is to alleviate or prevent a worsening of the disorder or one or more of its symptoms or manifestations.
    • More stringent rules on CTO conditions meaning the conditions placed on a patient must relate to their health and nothing else.
    • The need for a second opinion for patients on a CTO when it is revoked
    • A statutory right to advocacy.
    • A clause ensuring Age appropriate accommodation for children and young people
    • A clause which means that a refusal of treatment by young people aged 16 and 17 cannot be overridden by their parents.
    • A clause on places of safety – the right to transfer between places of safety
    • More safeguards for patients receiving ECT
    • Statutory provision for the Code of Practice

Thank you for all your help and support in this extremely important campaign.  You have helped make a difference!

When bad things happen

July 10, 2007

There is a new ‘page’ on the right – When bad things happen – which is mainly intended for younger people and to which I will add help and support information and links for when you are dealing with difficult things in your life.  If you have any suggestions of your own for things/sites to be added – please send them in to me.