Error in Mental Health Sectioning
- 30 Oct
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says urgent retrospective legislation is needed to correct a "technical error" affecting up to 5,000 patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act since 2002.
The error means doctors who sectioned patients in England did not have the right jurisdiction to do so. He insists all were qualified to make the clinical decisions and none of the patients was wrongly detained.
Mr Hunt has ordered an independent review:
We believe that all the proper clinical processes were gone through when these patients were detained. They were detained by medically qualified doctors. We believe that no one is in hospital who shouldn't be and no patients have suffered because of this.
But for the avoidance of any remaining doubt, and in the interests of the safety of patients themselves, as well as the potential concerns of their families and the staff who care for them, we are introducing emergency legislation to clarify the position.
A patient can be sectioned if they are perceived to be a threat to themselves or other people and the doctors who assess patients, and make recommendations under the Mental Health Act, are required to be 'approved' to do so by the Secretary of State.
Since 2002, the Secretary of State has delegated that approval function to Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs), however, four out of the 10 SHAs in England asked mental health trusts to carry out the validation and approval process for them, but did not ask for it to be referred back to them for final confirmation.
This is the error that Mr Hunt says needs rectifying as a matter of urgency as up to 2,000 doctors did not have the right approval to section patients sent to hospitals that included Ashworth and Rampton Secure Hospital.
The Department of Health has asked Dr Geoffrey Harris, chairman of NHS South and former chairman of Buckinghamshire Mental Health Trust to undertake an independent review to look at how this responsibility was delegated by these four SHAs; and, more broadly, the governance and assurance processes that all SHAs use for delegating any responsibilities.
He will report back to the Secretary of State by the end of the year.
All doctors involved have now been approved under the correct processes.
Paul Jenkins, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:
All of us need to know that if we were ever ill enough to be sectioned, we would be treated according to the proper processes.
At this stage, we have no reason to think that anyone has been detained who should not have been, even though the correct procedures have not been followed.
We believe that the Department of Health and Strategic Health Authorities are taking swift action and we will continue to monitor the situation.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of the mental health charity Mind, said:
We welcome the independent review announced by the Secretary of State and look forward to working with the review team and the government to establish exactly what has happened and why.
Source: BBC News
- 11 Sep
People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide
The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...
- 10 Sep
Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training
The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...
- 09 Sep
People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services
Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...
- 08 Sep
The first mental health centre for men
The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...
- 07 Sep
NHS trust told no mental health beds available
Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...
- 07 Sep
Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected
Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...
- 04 Sep
New mental health centre to open in Ardwick
Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...
- 03 Sep
Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present
Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...
- 02 Sep
Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells
Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...
- 02 Sep
Mental health social work scheme accepting applications
100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I thought this briefing was very good and very useful. The presentation was clear, well argued and I always find Michael gives me food for thought even if I don't agree with everything he says. I really like the way he facilitates a discussion in the room and I learn as much from other participants as I do from the presenter which is always good. Right length, right tone." R.P. - Richmond Fellowship