The Mental Health Act (1983) and the accompanying Code of Practice were introduced to protect individuals who become vulnerable due to their mental health. The Act is designed to ensure that any decision to compulsorily admit an individual to hospital, therefore depriving them of their liberty, is justified and in the best interests of that individual. The Act allows for medical treatment to be administered to individuals who may not consent to it or have the capacity to consent to it. This is a unique area of healthcare as individuals can be legally detained and treated in hospital. It is therefore crucial that the powers that individuals are subject to are appropriately monitored.
We undertake monitoring of the application of the Act to ensure that those individuals detained under its powers are protected, safeguarded, supported and empowered as far as possible to make decisions over their care and treatment. It is also very important to review how organisations are discharging their powers under the Act and that they are appropriate, proportionate and in line with the law.
This report sets out our findings from the monitoring work undertaken by our Reviewers and Second Opinion Appointed Doctors during 2013-14.