Mental Health Act 2007
Mental Health Act 2007A Parliamentary Act which amends the Mental Health Act 1983, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. The Mental Health Act 1983 describes the circumstances under which a person can be detained to treat a mental disorder without consent, delineating processes and safeguards which ensure that the patients are not inappropriately detained or treated without their consent. The main purpose of the 1983 Act is to ensure that people with serious mental disorders which threaten their health or safety or the safety of the public can be treated irrespective of their consent where it is necessary to prevent them from harming themselves or others.
Mental Health Act 2007 changes
• A single definition of mental disorder applies throughout the Act—categories of disorder are abolished.
• Introduces a new “appropriate medical treatment” test for all longer-term detention. Thus, a patient can no longer be compulsorily detained, or have his/her detention continued, unless appropriate medical treatment is available to that patient. These criteria abolished the treatability test.
• Professional roles—the 2007 Act broadens the professionals who can take on the functions performed under the 1983 Act by the responsible medical officer and by approved social worker (ASW, a now-obsolete title, which was replaced by Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), a title which is not limited to social workers).
• Nearest relative—gives patients the right to apply to the Court to displace their nearest relative and enables a Court to displace a nearest relative who it thinks is not suitable to act as such. Expands nearest relative criteria to include civil partners amongst the list of relatives.
• Supervised Community Treatment (SCT)—introduces SCT for patients following a period of detention in hospital, allowing discharge from detention, subject to possible recall to hospital if necessary, to reduce the cycle in which patients leave hospital, stop taking their medications, deteriorate and need further detention—the so-called revolving door.
• Electro-convulsive therapy—introduces new safeguards for patients.
• Independent mental health advocacy—tasks appropriate national authority to arrange for help by independent mental health advocates.
• Age-appropriate services—requires hospital managers to ensure that patients under age 18 admitted to hospital for mental disorder are accommodated in an environment that is suitable for their age (subject to their needs).