Major changes are taking place in the law for those working in the mental health field. This article looks at the impact of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) (most of which was implemented in October 2007) and the Mental Health Act (2007) (the main provisions of which came into effect in October 2008). Key elements of each of these two acts will be covered. The ‘Bournewood Safeguards’ inserted into the Mental Capacity Act (2005) by the Mental Health Act (2007) will also be described.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) was fully implemented in October 2007 within England and Wales as a framework for making decisions about incapacitated persons' care and…
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) was fully implemented in October 2007 within England and Wales as a framework for making decisions about incapacitated persons' care and treatment generally not amounting to a deprivation of their liberty (although such could be authorised under its powers by the new Court of Protection). From a planned date of April 2009, the MCA is to be enlarged by the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2007 (MHA 2007) to encompass deprivation of liberty, with the addition of a new framework of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS). The MHA 2007 also revised significant aspects of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA), which were implemented in November 2008. The interface between the MCA, as amended to include DOLS, and the revised MHA is complex and potentially ambiguous. This paper describes in detail some issues that may arise at the interface of the two acts, and seeks to inform professionals involved in the use of these legal frameworks of the resulting complexity.
The modernisation of mental health legislation took time in England and Wales, and resulted in an amendment to the law through the Mental Health Act 2007. The changes…
The modernisation of mental health legislation took time in England and Wales, and resulted in an amendment to the law through the Mental Health Act 2007. The changes under way are extensive, and will affect the mental health workforce. This article outlines some of the changes and new roles, and argues that workforce changes are important features of the new legislation that confirm policy goals of integrated working and practice.
The new Mental Health Act 2007 substantially amends the Mental Health Act 1983. In this article, some of the most important changes are highlighted, including changes to…
The new Mental Health Act 2007 substantially amends the Mental Health Act 1983. In this article, some of the most important changes are highlighted, including changes to the definition of mental disorder, the new professional roles of approved mental health practitioner and responsible clinician, and the new powers for Supervised Community Treatment. The likely impact of these changes for people with learning disability and professionals working with them is discussed.
An enormous amount of change has occurred in the last six years for the mental health system in England and the workforce within it. We have seen the 10‐year National Service Framework for Mental Health (Department of Health, 1999) gradually make its impact felt in the form, in particular, of new community mental health teams and structures for delivering care in the community. We have also, most recently, experienced the passing of the Mental Health Act 2007 (HM Government, 2007), after many turbulent years of controversy and argument, extending to nurses and non‐medical practitioners who have been given statutory powers to act as approved mental health practitioners and approved clinicians.Alongside these important developments has been a gradual revolution in traditional ways of working, in the form of the New Ways of Working initiative. This article considers the impact of New Ways of Working on mental health nursing ‐ the single largest professional group within the mental health workforce ‐ and the continuing implications for the profession. The development of nurse prescribing is used as an illustration of the challenges and opportunities that have commonly arisen when new roles and skill sets have been introduced in mental health settings.
The Mental Health Act 2007 makes significant amendments to the Mental Health Act 2003, and also amends the Mental Capacity Act 2005 with the introduction of ‘deprivation of liberty safeguards’.
Imprisonment for public protection (IPP) has been the subject of much attention and some controversy since its implementation in April 2005. High numbers of IPP prisoners…
Imprisonment for public protection (IPP) has been the subject of much attention and some controversy since its implementation in April 2005. High numbers of IPP prisoners, combined with a low release rate, have meant that IPP has had a significant impact on the prison population. This paper charts the genesis of IPP and its historical antecedents. It also explores IPP as an exemplar of the ‘rise of risk’ and focuses on its links to the ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ pilots. It presents two hypotheses on the mental health implications of IPP.
Over the last 12 years there have been substantial developments in UK law and policy relevant to mental health social work practice. The previous legal frameworks across…
Over the last 12 years there have been substantial developments in UK law and policy relevant to mental health social work practice. The previous legal frameworks across the jurisdictions were very similar but the new laws have developed in different ways and provide greater opportunities for comparison. Across all the jurisdictions policy developments, especially in the areas of recovery and risk assessment, have influenced the way that mental health social workers practice.
This exploratory study used case study vignettes with 28 respondents to examine how these major legal and policy developments impact on social work practice.
There were variations in how levels of risk are defined and often a lack of clarity about how this informs decisions. There was a consensus that recovery is important but difficulties in understanding how this might apply in crises. Predictably, differences in legal and policy contexts meant that there were a variety of perspectives on how mental health social workers applied the laws in their jurisdictions.
The limited focus on research informed practice and the lack of transparency in decision making across areas of risk assessment and intervention, use of recovery approaches and the use of mental health laws suggest the need for a more evidence-based approach to training, education and practice.
There is very limited previous research on practitioner experiences of the complexities involved in implementing mental health law. This paper provides some insights into the issues involved and for the need for more detailed examination of the decision-making processes involved.
The European Union‐supported Child and Adolescent Mental Health in an Enlarged Europe (CAMHEE) project aimed to provide an overview of the challenges, current practice and…
The European Union‐supported Child and Adolescent Mental Health in an Enlarged Europe (CAMHEE) project aimed to provide an overview of the challenges, current practice and guidelines for developing effective mental health promotion and mental illness prevention policy and practice across Europe. As part of this work, an analysis was undertaken of the situation in England, making use of a bespoke data collection instrument and protocol.Our analysis suggests that there has been significant effort and investment in research, needs assessment, policy, human resource and service developments in CAMHS over the last 20 years, leading to a more detailed understanding and availability of services. Much of the emphasis has been on assessment and management of difficulties, however in recent years attention has begun to focus on mental health promotion. National standards and programmes such as Every Child Matters (Department for Education and Skills, 2004) have acted as catalysts for a number of national initiatives.