The Home Office and Department of Health have issued their joint response to a review of Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 aimed at improving outcomes for people detained under the Act.
The Mental Health Act 1983 is the main Act of Parliament covering the care and treatment of people with mental health problems and sets out how and when a person believed ‘to be suffering from mental disorder’ can be removed to a place of safety and detained there.
The main issues the review explored were:
How do the sections work in practice?
Does current legislation provide a balance between flexibility and safeguards?
Should police stations be used as places of safety?
How appropriate Is the maximum length of detention of 72 hours?
Does a person needing support receive help quickly in an emergency?
Would there be benefits from extending powers to others as well as police?
A significant number of legislative and non-legislative recommendations are made and the conclusion is that the Departments should work together to assess the impact of any changes and to hold further detailed consultations with all stakeholders.
The responses and report can be read here