Welsh charity Adferiad Recovery has called for a fundamental review by the Welsh Government of mental health legislation – and the wider policy position – for patients with high needs.
The call is part of the charity’s response to the UK Government’s consultation on the Mental Health Act white paper: a package of proposals which aim to reform the outdated Act.
Adferiad Recovery’s response welcomes the proposals in the white paper, stating: “Professor Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review made thoughtful and realistic suggestions for improvement to the current Act and to wider policy. The white paper responds positively to the Review and we generally support the resulting proposals as far as they go.”
However, the response also notes that while the White Paper is “good news for patients and families in England,” the issue is that – in the words of Adferiad Recovery campaigner Jo Roberts (pictured) – “if for Wales specifically the UK Government legislates only on undevolved matters (mainly in relation to criminal law) and the Welsh Government doesn’t do anything itself then most patients and families in Wales will not notice any difference at all.”
The response goes on to call for a review by the Welsh Government, stating: “We believe that the time is now right for the Welsh Government to develop its own Mental Health Act with a target of legislating in the next two years. To that end the Welsh Government should now re-examine the mix of legislation – and the wider policy position – in play for patients with high needs, specifically the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 and the Mental Health Act 1983 and its Welsh secondary legislation and the services offered to all patients at secondary level and upwards.”
The response lists a number of key issues which need to be addressed by a new Act including the need for:
- reciprocal rights for patients, including rights for patients before compulsion may be required
- improved environments for detained and voluntary patients
- improved choice for patients
- the commissioning of all secondary mental health services by reference to Care and Treatment Plans
- a transformed experience for Black patients with recovery-based support in place of routine compulsion
- support for carers and families to be part of the package of support for the patient
- a fundamental review of mental health and the criminal law.
Adferiad Recovery is a new Welsh charity launched on 1st April 2021 which joins together four charities in Wales – Hafal, Adferiad Recovery, CAIS and WCADA – to create a dynamic new organisation which will provide vital recovery support for vulnerable people in Wales and their families and carers. Read more…