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Mental Heath Act 1983 As amended by the Mental Health Act 2007


... significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning. ... Mr Jones is detained under section 3. His diagnosis is anti-social personality disorder. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mental Heath Act 1983 As amended by the Mental Health Act 2007

Mental Heath Act 1983 As amended by the
Mental Health Act 2007
  • Nine Key Changes Explained

The main changes to the 1983 Act are
  • 1. Single Definition of Mental Disorder
  • 2. Criteria for the use of Compulsion
  • 3. Age Appropriate Services
  • 4. Professional Groups
  • 5. Nearest Relative
  • 6. Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service
  • 7. Patients and ECT
  • 8. Supervised Community Treatment
  • 9. Referral to the MHRT
  • Other Changes to the MHA 1983

Main Change 1
  • Definition of Mental Disorder

Mental Disorder
  • The Bill abolishes the four forms of mental
    disorder in the 1983 Act.
  • It simplifies the existing definition of mental
    disorder Mental disorder means any disorder or
    disability of mind.
  • It removes three of the exceptions in section
    1(3) immorality, promiscuity and sexual
    deviancy leaving in only dependence on
    alcohol or drugs.

  • The definition of mental disorder is widened by
    removing the previous references to immorality,
    promiscuity and sexual deviancy.
  • This applies to all sections of the act including
    short-term holding powers eg polices power to
    detain citizens under section 136.

Consequences (cont)
  • The repeal of the category of psychopathic
    disorder extends the group of people who are
    liable to potentially indefinite detention or
    compulsion, e.g. under section 3.
  • The change also extends the protection of the Act
    to groups previously excluded ie people with a
    head injury who need longer term care or

Consequences (cont)
  • In the case of people diagnosed as having a
    personality disorder, their long-term detention
    no longer requires the existence of a persistent
    disorder or disability of mind that results in
    abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible

The new Section 1
  • 1.(2) In this Act
  • mental disorder any disorder or disability of
    mind and mentally disordered" shall be construed
    accordingly …

The Learning Disability Qualification
This applies to longer term forms of compulsion
(e.g. treatment based sections and Guardianship)
  • (2A) But a person with learning disability shall
    not be considered by reason of that disability to
  • (a) suffering from mental disorder for the
    purposes of the provisions mentioned in
    subsection (2B) below or
  • (b) requiring treatment in hospital for mental
    disorder for the purposes of sections 17E and 50
    to 53 below,
  • unless that disability is associated with
    abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible
    conduct on his part.

The Learning Disability Qualification (cont)
(4) In subsection (2A) above, learning
disability means a state of arrested or
incomplete development of mind which includes
significant impairment of intelligence and social
functioning. This means that some conditions
(such as Aspergers) are no longer excluded from
the protections of the Act. This is considered
instead as a general form of mental disorder.
Exclusions on the basis of dependence on alcohol
or drugs
  • (3) Dependence on alcohol or drugs is not
    considered to be a disorder or disability of mind
    for the purposes of subsection (2) above
  • Unless of course the drugs or alcohol abuse
    results in a form of mental disorder (e.g.
    alcohol induced psychosis)

Main Change 2
  • Criteria for the use of Compulsion

Section 3
  • The four forms of mental disorder have been
  • Consequently, a person with a personality
    disorder may be placed under section 3 even
    though s/he would not today satisfy the criteria
    for having a psychopathic disorder.

Section 3 (cont)
  • The treatability test is abolished, and replaced
    by an appropriate medical treatment test, which
    now applies to all patients.
  • Although it is no longer necessary that the
    treatment is likely to alleviate the patients
    condition, or prevent it from worsening, the
    purpose of any treatment provided must still be
    to alleviate, or prevent a worsening of, the
    disorder, or one or more of its symptoms or

Section 3 (cont)
  • According to the Act, references to appropriate
    medical treatment are references to medical
    treatment which is appropriate in the patients
    case, taking into account the nature and degree
    of their mental disorder and all other
    circumstances of his case.

Section 3 (cont)
  • Treatment need not be under medical supervision,
    or involve a doctor, and may consist only of
    specialist care or psychological intervention.

Effect on reports for tribunal and managers
  • The renewal and tribunal discharge criteria are
    modified accordingly

This means, for example, that people writing
reports for patients on SCT are likely to need to
be clearer about how the nature of the patients
mental disorder makes it necessary to use
New Criteria for Section 3
  • (2) An application for admission for treatment
    may be made in respect of a patient on the
    grounds that
  • (a) he is suffering from mental disorder of a
    nature or degree which makes it appropriate for
    him to receive medical treatment in a hospital
  • (b) repealed treatability test
  • (c) it is necessary for the health or safety of
    the patient or for the protection of other
    persons that he should receive such treatment
    and it cannot be provided unless he is detained
    under this section and
  • (d) appropriate medical treatment is available
    for him.

Appropriate treatment example
Mr Jones is detained under section 3. His
diagnosis is anti-social personality disorder.
His case comes before a tribunal. He argues that
the treatment he is receiving in a private
hospital 150 miles from his home in London does
not constitute appropriate treatment. It is not
culturally appropriate, there is no psychological
input, he has no contact with family and friends
and it is too far from home. Furthermore, it is
not medical treatment because the purpose of his
detention is simply public protection, not
alleviating or preventing a worsening of his
The legal status of the Code and the Guiding
  • Applying the criteria in
  • individual cases

  • In performing functions under this Act persons
    mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b) shall have
    regard to the code.
  • This means that when reaching decisions,
    professionals must follow the advice of the code
    or justify why they are not able to do so.

Who is the code for?
  • (a) for the guidance of registered medical
    practitioners, approved clinicians, managers and
    staff of hospitals, independent hospitals and
    care homes and approved mental health
    professionals in relation to the admission of
    patients to hospitals and registered
    establishments under this Act and to guardianship
    and community patients under this Act and
  • (b) for the guidance of registered medical
    practitioners and members of other professions in
    relation to the medical treatment of patients
    suffering from mental disorder.

The Guiding Principles
  • The code therefore now provides statutory
    principles that professionals and others must use
    to inform their decision making.
  • Unlike professional or personal values, these
    principles have been debated in parliament and
    therefore have greater legal status

Main Change 3
  • Age Appropriate Services

Age Appropriate Services
  • Age Appropriate Services it requires hospital
    managers to ensure that patients aged under 18
    admitted to hospital for mental disorder are
    accommodated in an environment that is suitable
    for their age (subject to their needs).
  • This is due to be introduced in 2010

Age Appropriate Services
  • Section 131A also provides that any patient under
    18 who is admitted informally or under the Acts
    powers, the hospital managers will consult with a
    person who appears to them to have knowledge or
    experience of cases involving minors.

Key Change 4
  • Professional Groups
  • AMHPs and ACs

Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)
  • This widens the pool of professionals from which
    applications for the training to become an AMHP
    can be drawn.
  • So in future, nurses, occupational therapists and
    psychologists will be able to apply to be trained
    as an AMHP
  • Training will continue to be as long and tough as
    at present

Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)
  • AMHPs will be assessing on behalf of their
    local social services authority when carrying out
    their duties as AMHPs and
  • All AMHPs will have to demonstrate their ability
    to work within a Social Perspective and be able
    to maintain their independence before qualifying
    as an AMHP

Approved Clinicians (AC) and Responsible
Clinicians (RC)
  • A framework of competencies has been established
    for professionals who wish to become Approved
  • Just as with AMHPs, the pool of professionals who
    can be accredited to take on this qualification
    is no longer restricted to doctors.

Approved Clinicians (AC) and Responsible
Clinicians (RC)
  • The 1st driver for this change was to ensure that
    people with a personality disorder were not
    excluded from the Act or treatment under the Act
  • 2nd driver for this was the New Ways of Working

The result…..
  • Having broadened the pool of professionals who
    can apply for accreditation as an AC - once they
    have qualified as such they can be appointed as a
    Responsible Clinician for a particular patient
    (this role replaces that of the RMO)
  • The aim is that patients in future will therefore
    be able to have the most appropriately skilled AC
    appointed as their RC

Main Change 5
  • Nearest Relative

The Nearest Relative
  • The Act amends the list of persons who may be a
    patients nearest relative by giving a civil
    partner equal status to a husband or wife.

Changing the Nearest
  • It also introduces a new right for a patient to
    apply for an order displacing the nearest
  • on the same grounds currently in existence for
    other applicants, and
  • on the additional ground that the nearest
    relative is otherwise unsuitable.

Main Change 8
  • Independent Mental Health Advocate
  • (IMHA)

Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
  • Section 130a deals with the development of the
    IMHA service
  • The commissioning arrangements will be announced
    later this year
  • It will need to be in place by April 09

  • Advocates will have
  • an unfettered right to meet with patients in
    private and
  • to meet with professionals and
  • they will have access to patients records

Main Change 7
  • Electro-Convulsive Therapy

ECT s58a
  • Adults with capacity can refuse to accept ECT
    treatment even if they area detained under the
  • Where a adult lacks capacity, this assessment
    must be agreed by a SOAD who must also confirm
    that ECT would be appropriate
  • The SOAD must also confirm that there is no valid
    advance decision regarding ECT

S62 emergency treatment
  • S62 continues to allow ECT treatment in an
  • However, clinicians will be expected to take
    account of the views expressed by patients with
    regard to ECT, and any Advance Decision they have

Main Change 8
  • Supervised Community Treatment
  • (SCT)

  • Supervised Discharge (s25a) provisions are
  • In their place is a Supervised Community
    Treatment order (s17a)

  • The SCT provisions will allow some patients with
    a mental disorder to live in the community whilst
    still subject to powers under the 1983 Act.
  • Only those patients who have been detained in
    hospital for treatment will be eligible for SCT.
  • Patients subject to SCT remain under compulsion
    and are liable to recall to hospital for

The AMHP role
  • In order for a patient to be placed on SCT,
    various criteria need to be met
  • An AMHP must agree that the criteria for SCT are
    met, and that it is appropriate to use the
    powers and
  • The AMHP must also agree that any additional
    conditions are necessary or appropriate

The criteria
  • The RC AMHP must agree the following criteria
    are met-
  • a) the patient is suffering from mental disorder
    of a nature or degree which makes it appropriate
    for him to receive medical treatment
  • (b) it is necessary for his health or safety or
    for the protection of other persons that he
    should receive such treatment
  • (c) subject to his being liable to be recalled as
    mentioned in paragraph (d) below, such treatment
    can be provided without his continuing to be
    detained in a hospital
  • (d) it is necessary that the responsible
    clinician should be able to exercise the power
    under section 17E(1) below to recall the patient
    to hospital and
  • (e) appropriate medical treatment is available
    for him.

  • Patients who are on SCT will be made subject
    to conditions whilst living in the community.

Compulsory Conditions
  • The order shall specify conditions that the
    patient makes her/himself available for the
    purposes of being examined in connection with (1)
    the orders renewal, and (2) the furnishing of a
    consent to treatment certificate.
  • The patient may be recalled to hospital if s/he
    fails to comply with either of these two

Effect of an order
  • The authority to detain the patient in hospital
    is suspended.
  • The authority to treat people against their will
    under pt 4 of the Act is also suspended (s4A
    governs treatment instead)
  • The renewal provisions in section 20 do not apply
    to the patient. SCT is renewed under Section 20A

Power of Recall
  • The responsible clinician may recall a community
    patient to hospital if in her/his opinion
  • (a) the patient requires medical treatment in
    hospital for his mental disorder and
  • (b) there would be a risk of harm to the health
    or safety of the patient or to other persons if
    the patient were not recalled to hospital for
    that purpose.
  • The RC may also recall the patient if s/he fails
    to comply with a condition that s/he makes
    her/himself available for examination for the
    purpose of a renewal or consent report.

Revoking the Community Treatment Order
  • Where a community patient is recalled, the RC may
    revoke the community treatment order if s/he is
    of the opinion that the section 3 conditions are
    satisfied and an AMHP agrees with that opinion
    and that it is appropriate to revoke the order.
  • The effect is that the managers have the same
    power to detain the patient under s.6(2) as if
    s/he had never been discharged and for section
    20 renewal purposes the patient is deemed to have
    been admitted under section 3 on the day the
    order is revoked.

  • Patients on a Treatment Order are subject to Part
  • SCT Patients are treated under Part 4A of the MHA
  • They should be consenting and will require a SOAD
    report to confirm that any treatment under
    section 58 is appropriate (CTO 11)
  • On recall they will be subject to Section 62A
  • On revocation under section 17F they will be
    subject to Part 4 again

Main Change 9
Mental Health Review Tribunals
Changes to MHRT under 2007 Act
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) it
    introduces an order-making power to enable the
    Secretary of State to reduce the time before a
    case has to be referred to the MHRT by the
    hospital managers.
  • It also introduces a single Tribunal for England,
    the one in Wales remaining in being.
  • It changes the referral period after 6 months to
    include any time that may have previously been
    spent on Section 2
  • It extends the annual referral for those under 16
    to adolescents who are under 18