Health Policy October 6, 2018
Greater clarity required in Mental Health Act review

By Daniel Male - Accountable Care Journal

The Mental Health Act 1983 is not the shortest piece of legislation! Nor does it operate in a silo. As such, the overlap with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 must be considered in its evaluation and application. Added to this are the respective Codes of Practice for the legislation and the MHA Reference Guide, which between them, total over 1000 pages. This is an awful lot of information for healthcare professionals to get to grips with.

When we responded to Professor Sir Simon Wessely’s initial call for evidence earlier this year, there were many topics and issues we flagged up. These were taken from our experience advising mental health providers in both the public and private sector and advising commissioners in respect of s117 aftercare.

So what topics would benefit from clarification?


  • Clarity in relation to transferring a patient from s2 to s3
  • The need for s4
  • Validity of Form H5 for renewals
  • Rectification under s15 in terms of timeframes and for CTOs
  • The transfer of authority from one set of Hospital Managers to another

During Admission

  • Selection of Nearest Relative and sharing of information with them
  • The use of s63 to provide treatment
  • Are Hospital Managers still necessary?
  • S25 “dangerousness” criteria at time of discharge but not admission
  • Extra statutory recommendations made by Tribunals


  • S117 liabilities of CCGs and Local Authorities
  • Are people admitted under s3 just to get s117 aftercare?
  • The approach to Care Programme Approach meetings


  • Interrelationship between MHA and the Criminal Justice...