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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Policy work at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales 2011

The Mental Health (Wales) Measure

Welsh Assembly Government logoThe Mental Health (Wales) Measure has dominated policy work in Wales since the Measure’s inception in 2010. The overall aim of the Measure is to provide more efficient services in primary care for patients experiencing mental health problems, and to provide service-users in secondary care greater ownership of, and support with, their treatment and recovery.




The Measure was given Royal Ascent on 15 December 2010 and in 2011, a number of Regulations relating to the Measure were drafted and sent out for public consultation. 


The first sets of Regulations covered the bulk of the Measure, namely parts 2,3 and 4; the legislation covering secondary care services (Care and Treatment planning, direct referral to secondary mental health services for service-users, and Independent Mental Health Advocacy for all relevant patients).


During the Welsh Government’s consultation exercise, which ran from February to May, the College contacted our Members in Wales asking for their views. We received several responses from concerned individuals and a group of collective psychiatrists in North Wales. Their concerns echoed those voiced at several Faculty meetings where a slot was dedicated to discuss the Regulations surrounding the Measure. The College also spoke to the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru with whom we submitted a joint response in May. The Regulations were finally agreed by the National Assembly for Wales in October and November this year.


It was during this Consultation exercise that the Welsh Government realised that it needed to produce further Regulations to improve upon various aspects of the Measure itself. First, the Mental Health (Regional Provision) (Wales) Regulations 2012 was drafted in September suggesting the need for regional as opposed to local working arrangements. The Regulations were, for the most part, welcomed by the College and we submitted a response on 16 December.  Second, the Mental Health (Secondary Mental Health Services)(Wales) Order 2012 was drafted on 20 December after concerns were raised by the College and others about the need to define “secondary mental health services”. The Order, places the responsibility on the Local Health Boards and their respective Local Authorities within their patch to determine which services fall within Primary Care with the remainder to fall within Secondary Care. The Order is now out for Consultation and will run until 13 March, 2012.


Two further Consultations relating to the Measure remain open. The Draft Code of Practice on Parts 2 and 3 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure, 2010 provides guidance to Care Coordinators and local mental health providers on their role under the Measure. The Mental Health (Primary Care Referrals and Eligibility to Conduct Primary Mental Health Assessments)(Wales) Regulations 2012, relates to Part 1 of the Measure and covers mental health in primary care. The College is currently drafting a response to the Code of Practice in collaboration with ADSS Cymru. We are also currently providing a joint response with the Royal College of GPs to the Primary Care Regulations.


Other local consultations

ConsultationsThe College has also been busy responding to other local consultations. In the spring, we responded to the Welsh Government’s draft Maternity Strategy and draft National Framework for Children and Young People’s Continuing Care.


On 16 December, we submitted our written response to the National Assembly for Wales’ Health and Social Care Committee for their inquiry into Residential Care for Older People. We held a focus group with relevant Faculty Chairs to discuss evidence for our response. After contacting our Old Age Psychiatry Faculty Members, we had an overwhelming response and several offers to provide the Committee with oral evidence at the Committee hearing in the Senedd in spring. We also held discussions with the Health Inspectorate Wales and the ADSS Cymru to gather their views on the terms of reference of the inquiry.


NICE Consultations

During 2011, the College also responded to a number of NICE Consultations, including the following:


  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children and Young People
  • Self harm – longer term management
  • Service User Experience in Adult Mental Health Services; Management of Autism in Children and Young People (draft of scope)
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder Review.


All of the College’s responses to the above Consultations can be found in the Wales Division web section.




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