The Mental Health (Wales) Measure
The 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
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
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
The 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.
During 2011, the College also responded to a
number of NICE Consultations, including the following:
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children and
- 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.