PLT Masthead 430

Masthead Healthcare - Litigation

Rights to challenge detention in Mental Health Tribunal “inadequate”: Law Society

There are inadequate rights for patients to challenge their detention in the Mental Health Tribunal, the Law Society has said in its response to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Chancery Lane said the most serious problems with the Act also included:

  • Unjustifiable imposition of medical treatment on patients without their consent in the first three months of detention
  • A complete lack of safeguards for children in mental health detention
  • Inordinate delay in the treatment of prisoners with mental health problems
  • Conflicts and inconsistencies which arise from having two separate pieces of legislation which cover detention and treatment for mental disorder (the 1983 Act) and mental capacity (the Mental Capacity Act 2005)
  • The provisions of the MHA detention and treatment regime “being fundamentally incompatible” with key rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly Article 14.

The Law Society’s paper, which was prepared by its Mental Health & Disability Committee and can be viewed here, also highlighted the impact of chronic underfunding on services for those with mental health problems.

“The impact of this on both patients in the community and those who are detained cannot be overstated,” it said.

 

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