Today the Welsh Government opened its consultation on the revision of the Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice for Wales.
The Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) Code of Practice for Wales was last published in 2008. The new draft Code takes account of the changes to relevant legislation since the previous Code was written; in particular:-
• the requirements in the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 with regards to care and treatment planning and the expanded provision of independent mental health advocacy
• the relationship between the Act, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
Within the draft Code there is strengthened emphasis on:-
• the involvement of patients and, where appropriate, their families and carers in all aspects of assessment and treatment
• understanding the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and how these should apply to all care and treatment
• the involvement of Independent Mental Health Advocates
• the use of appropriate transport for patient subject to the Act to ensure their dignity and safety as far as is practicable.
There are two other matters of proposed guidance in the draft Code that are not in the existing code.
Firstly, it reiterates that the Act provides a limit of 72 hours for detention under section 136 and that assessments should only take place in a police station in exceptional circumstances. However in relation to the timing of assessments both at the police station and elsewhere, the draft Code proposes:
• that they should be undertaken within 3 hours
• that detention in a police station should not exceed a maximum of 12 hours.
Secondly, it proposes that a statutory care and treatment plan, if needed, will be started no longer than 72 hours after admission.
Peter Martin, Senior Policy Adviser at Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “We welcome the review of the Welsh Code of Practice, particularly as it provides the opportunity to ensure that the Code reflects changes in Welsh legislation and strategy.
“We particularly welcome the focus on care and treatment planning and in the involvement of patients and carers in all aspects of assessment and treatment.
“As a client-led charity we look forward to responding to the consultation documents in detail and providing a strong service user and carer voice in the consultation.”
For more information please visit: http://gov.wales/consultations/healthsocialcare/mental-health/?lang=en