Mental health

Mental Health Act Review

The RCN contributed to the reforming of the Mental Health Act. This page highlights the RCN responses.

 

Mental Health Act Policy Workshops (April-May 2021)

The Department of Health and Social Care Mental Health Act reform team ran a series of by invitation policy workshops to develop their thinking on some of the technical details related to legislative changes proposed in the Mental Health Act White Paper. Approximately 20 themes were explored and critiqued across the series of workshops. 

RCN members from the Mental Health Forum Committee, Learning Disability Nursing Forum, CYP: Staying Healthy Forum and RCN Mental Health Representatives, represented the professional lead for Mental Health at these workshops, influencing the direction of national policy reform.  

The RCN continues to remain in dialogue with the Department of Health and Social Care to help ensure the voice of nursing is heard throughout the reform and implementation.

RCN response to the Reforming the Mental Health Act (April 2021)

As the main professional group implementing and delivering care under the Mental Health Act (MHA), alongside patients and service users’, it is vital that the voice of nursing staff is heard throughout the development of these reforms. 

The published consultation questions cover a wide scope of the proposed reforms set out in the department of Health & Social Care’s (DHSC) the Reforming Mental Health Act white paper. Feedback from members suggested that the RCN should provide a more concise summary of key areas most pertinent to the nursing workforce. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) reviewed the 36 consultation questions, consolidating and organising key questions into eight themes

This response has been developed in collaboration with a wide range of RCN members and staff. We have received contributions from multiple sources including the RCN Mental Health Forum, Learning Disability Nursing Forum, policy-makers, clinical nurses (NHS and independent sector), academic nurses (individuals and groups), as well as people with lived-experience of mental illness. 

Read our full response here: Reforming the Mental Health Act

This response was formed alongside our submission of written evidence to the Joint Committee of Human Rights.

RCN response to the JCHR (March 2021)

The Mental Health Act has wide ranging human rights implications. This response highlights the role that nurses should play in addressing inequalities in the design and application of the act and outlines the changes needed in terms of professional development, patient pathways and strengthening of the workforce needed to address these inherent inequalities. Recommendations are set out at the end of the response (see full response). 

As the main professional group implementing and delivering care under the Mental Health Act, it is vital that the voice of nursing staff is heard throughout the development of these reforms.

Read the full response here: RCN - Evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights call for evidence on the reform of the Mental Health Act

RCN response to publication of the report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act (May 2018)

Catherine Gamble, the RCN's Professional Lead for Mental Health from 2017-2020, represented mental health nurses (MHN) on the review. The role was deputised by RCN member Alison Blofield, nurse consultant and approved clinician.

The RCN response to the interim report published in May 2018 was informed by:

  • expert MHN RCN forum members working in acute care, community, court and liaison services
  • those with experience of being held on sections of the current Mental Health Act
  • nurse consultants, working as Approved Clinician/Responsible Clinician (AC/RC)
  • consultation with the College of Policing, Chief Inspector Michael Brown. 

Read the full response here: Response to the publication of the report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

Page last updated - 26/07/2021