Response to CQC Monitoring Mental Health Act report

Statement / comment
27 February 2018

“When someone is detained under the Mental Health Act, anything less than the highest standard of care is unacceptable.

“Part of the reason why provision of care might be lacking is because of the considerable pressures on mental health services our members are seeing on the frontline. The CQC note the ‘unsafe environments’ on some mental health wards. This is undoubtedly because of a system working to higher demand with, in some cases, fewer resources. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently found that mental health trust income in England is lower than it was in 2011/12.

“As the CQC also points out rightly, if a person’s first experience of mental health services is being detained under the Mental Health Act without the proper care, their view of services will be blighted. The hard work that the mental health sector has put in to encourage people to come forward with mental health problems will be seriously undermined.

“The Review of the Mental Health Act, which the Royal College of Psychiatrists is feeding into, will consider the wider practice and service factors that might underpin some of the CQC’s findings, and that should be supported.

“The Royal College of Psychiatrists has made a number of recommendations for the Review to consider, including ways to improve how care planning is used in practice. It is vital that all patients are given every opportunity to discuss decisions about their care and treatment when detained under the Act.”

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

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