The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman released the following clip:
The changes to sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act introduced by the Police and Crime Act 2017 came into force on 11 December 2017.
Hill Dickinson is a company providing legal advice and support to the NHS and independent healthcare organisations. They have written the following explanation of the changes:
“The key changes are designed to ensure that police officers are able to act more quickly and flexibly, whilst ensuring that people receive the assessment and treatment they need as soon as it is required. The changes relate to:
- places of safety
- time limits
- protective searches
- the duty to consult
- decreased detention times
Definition of ‘public place’
The current wording of section 136 in relation to where police can exercise their powers is open to interpretation and often causes difficulties. Case law over the years has assisted to better define what is ‘a place to which the public have access’, however this remains a tricky area. The changes when they come into force will define this more clearly, by specifically identifying the following places where police cannot exercise their powers under section 136:
‘a) any house, flat or room where that person, or any other person, is living, or;
b) any yard, garden, garage or outhouse that is used in connection with the house, flat or room, other than one that is also used in connection with one or more other houses, flats or rooms.’
Save for in these excluded areas, the police will be able to exercise their powers under section 136 anywhere. This should allow officers to act quickly to protect people found in places such as railway lines, offices and rooftops which have previously not necessarily been considered as ‘places to which the public have access’.
Where practical to do so, the police have an added duty to consult: a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or an approved mental health professional, before deciding to remove a person to or to keep them at a place of safety.
Places of safety
The amendments make clear that it will be possible to use a suitable private property as a place of safety, with the consent of the occupier. Therefore, a person’s own home could potentially be a place of safety, as could places such as community centres or other multiple use buildings.
A new provision (section 136A) will prevent the use of police stations as a place of safety for under 18s and also increase the safeguards in place where a police station is used as a place of safety for an adult. Section 136A permits the secretary of state to make regulations regarding the use of police stations as places of safety. It is expected that such regulations will include provision for regular review and ensuring that appropriate medical treatment is available.
The maximum period for detention under section 135 and section 136 to allow for a mental health assessment to be completed, is currently 72 hours. This will be reduced to an initial maximum period of 24 hours. The period will still commence from the time when the person arrives at the place of safety or the time a police officer enters the property if he/she subsequently decides to keep the person at that place.
It will be possible, at the end of the 24 hour period, for an extension of up to 12 hours to be granted, but only where it would not have been practicable to assess the person in the first 24 hours i.e. only where the condition of the person makes it necessary to do so. That extension can be granted by the registered medical practitioner responsible for the examination of the patient.
Section 136C will introduce the power for protective searches to be undertaken where a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person may be a danger to themselves, or others, or is concealing an item on his or her person that could be used to cause physical injury to themselves or to others.
The government has produced guidance to support the implementation of the changes which can be accessed here.
The changes to the legislation have the clear aim of protecting patients’ rights, which is welcome. The reduction in time limits is likely to increase pressure on services, particularly in light of the current bed situation. Effective implementation, particularly in relation to the duty to consult and reduced detention times, will involve local authorities, healthcare providers and the police working very closely together. Policies and procedures will need to be updated and training may be required.”
Further sources of information
You can find the full article by Hill Dickinson here: https://www.hilldickinson.com/insights/articles/mental-health-act-1983-important-changes-coming-force-11-december-2017
The government has issued “Guidance for the implementation of changes to police powers and places of safety provisions in the mental health act 1983” which you can read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656025/Guidance_on_Police_Powers.PDF
The mental health charity Mind have also written about these changes. You can see their article here: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/legal-news/legal-newsletter-march-2017/policing-and-crime-act-2017/
Fears for rough sleepers as specialist north London unit faces 42% budget reduction.
NHS bosses are under fire for cutting back a team of doctors and nurses who provide mental health care to one of Britain’s largest groups of homeless people.
Camden NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in north London is giving the Focus Homeless Outreach team £219,866 less a year starting on 1 April, a leaked CCG document reveals. One of the team’s two psychiatrists and one of its six nurses will lose their jobs as a result.
Critics say the decision makes a mockery of Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt’s repeated claims that NHS mental health services are receiving record amounts of funding to improve care. They fear it will lead to more rough sleepers suffering mental health crises and killing themselves, and that it will add to the already heavy demand for care being faced by hospitals and GPs in Camden.
The CCG is pressing ahead with the 42% cut to the £521,000 budget it gave the team this year despite a storm of protest from local GPs, psychiatrists, homeless charities and managers of hostels where rough sleepers sometimes stay. Camden had the third highest rate of rough sleeping in England in 2017, recent government statistics showed – more than Manchester, Bristol and Cornwall.
Focus, set up 25 years ago, helps treat the high levels of depression, psychosis and other mental health conditions found in rough sleepers, hostel dwellers and “sofa surfers”, including some asylum seekers and people who have been trafficked. Its budget is being reduced even though it is regarded by NHS, local council and social work bosses in London as a model of good practice of how to reach the kind of group that often shuns traditional NHS services…
An international team led by the University of Oxford in the UK has carried out a huge meta-analysis of almost 120,000 people and their experiences using 21 of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. The results of this study have been published in The Lancet here.
Feel free to leave comments below.
A journalist called Jaime Lowe shares and investigates her experience with mental illness and the drugs used to combat it, in a new book called “Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind.” You can watch an interview with her below:
You can read the transcript of this interview on the Democracy Now website here: https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/28/lithium_love_and_losing_my_mind
CBUG member Pat Kenny has been interviewed on BBC radio 5 Live’s Breakfast and Afternoon shows! Pat spoke about his experience of being tasered by the police while unwell.
If you would like to listen to the Breakfast show where Pat speaks. Please visit the following website (Pat’s section begins about 1h26 minutes in):
If you would like to listen to the Afternoon show where Pat speaks. Please visit the following website (Pat’s section begins about 9 minutes in):
Please note that you will have to sign in to BBC IPlayer to listen to the audios.
Check out this extended conversation with Johann Hari, author of a controversial new book, “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression—and the Unexpected Solutions.”
You can find the full transcript of this conversation here: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/2/2/part_2_johann_hari_on_uncovering
According to this article on the msn website, the answer is yes. What do you think?
From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.
Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.
Read the rest of the article here: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/mindandbody/people-with-depression-are-more-likely-to-say-certain-words/
…and feel free to leave a comment below.
In this extract from his new book, Johann Hari, who took antidepressants for 14 years, calls for a new approach.
You can read the article here: https://amp.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/07/is-everything-you-think-you-know-about-depression-wrong-johann-hari-lost-connections?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&__twitter_impression=true
Avatar therapy ‘reduces power of schizophrenia voices’,” BBC news reports. The headline is prompted by a study where people with schizophrenia received a new type of treatment to help them reduce the effect of auditory hallucinations. Continue reading in the link