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BMA welcomes review of Mental Health Act and supports moves to modernise legislation

Responding to the independent review of the Mental Health Act which recognises the importance of improving the patient experience and modernising legislation, BMA mental health policy lead, Dr Andrew Molodynski, said:

“We welcome this review and with it the recognition of the importance of improving the overall patient experience in relation to mental health legislation and the subsequent care they receive.

“The review rightly addresses concerns over discrimination and fairness within the current system for those at greater risk, such as people from certain ethnic backgrounds who are unfairly disadvantaged. Indeed, discrimination of this kind has no place within our modern health service and as such, all efforts must be taken to eradicate this and ensure safeguards are in place to avoid this in the future.

“Changes to mental health legislation must ensure that any restriction to fundamental rights is both proportionate and necessary with respect to the care that an individual requires. This is particularly relevant in the case of community treatment orders (CTOs). While we welcome progress in acknowledging patients’ wishes and preferences and proposals for greater limitations of CTOs, there is a need for further review of their use given that current evidence does not substantiate their viability.

“As well as a significant legislative overhaul, there is a clear need for investment in mental health to ensure effective patient care, with a focus on treatment rather than security. Meaningful change can only endure if underpinned by properly staffed and fully resourced services.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives

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