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Healthcare briefing – The independent review of the Mental Health Act: An interim report

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, Chair of the independent review into the operation of the Mental Health Act (MHA), published the panel’s interim report.

The report is based on upon a preliminary assessment of the issues following the conclusion of a wide ranging consultation.

The report sets out the themes that have arisen following consultation, upon which the panel will continue to focus, which include:

  • Care outside of hospital, joint agency working and the MHA assessment process
  • The interface with the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) suggesting at this stage a possible fusion of the two pieces of legislation in the longer term
  • The role of consent and restrictive practice in care and treatment, with a view to maximising patient autonomy, dignity and respect
  • The degree to which procedural safeguards such as the Tribunal, the Hospital Managers, Advocacy services, Second Opinion Approved Doctors and Nearest Relatives remain effective
  • A focus upon improving equality within care

The panel reports that it will, over the next few months, work to better understand the concrete issues underpinning these themes and will go on to make recommendations based upon the evidence.

Importantly, the panel welcomes and invites further contact and contributions on these issues and can be contacted by email at the following address:


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

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