11 Facts on detentions under the Mental Health Act

When people refuse treatment, they may, in some extenuating circumstances, be detained, or ‘sectioned,’ under the Mental Health Act. This has several important legal implications and, as such, has been widely discussed and elaborated upon in recent years. We’ve made a list of some of the most interesting and relevant facts and findings about detentions under the Mental Health Act. 1. There are three types of civil detentions These are Emergency Detention, Short- term Detention, and a Compulsory Treatment Order (CTO). Emergency Detention allows a person to be held in hospital for up to 72 hours, whereas a Short-term Detention means that a person can be detained for 28 days. A CTO, however, can take place in a hospital or in the community and lasts for a treatment period of 6 months, which can be renewed when it terminates. 2. Right to Appeal If a person is detained against their will, they have a right to an appeal and get help from an independent advocate. 3. Number of detainees has increased by 47% The number of people detained under the Mental Health Act in England increased by 47% between 2005 and 2015. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that it is unsure what the exact reasons for this rise are. A report by the Care Quality Commission proposed that better care for return detainees and early intervention programmes may help to improve the situation. 4. Removal to a Place of Safety Anyone suffering from a mental disorder who needs care and treatment can be taken to a place of safety by the police. A 24-hour assessment period will follow where the person’s treatment needs are assessed. Police cells are being used less and less frequently

What is Independent Advocacy and why is it important?

Independent Advocacy is an important concept that was widely discussed during the 2015 changes to the Mental Health Act. It has recently surfaced yet again, after recent reports surrounding advocacy planning and implementation revealed that there is still a lot of work to be done. In this blog, we’ll explore what independent advocacy is, why it’s so important, and the impact of these recent findings on its development. The purpose of Independent Advocacy Independent advocacy enables people to exert as much control as possible over their own lives. Crucially, independent advocates are structurally, financially, and psychologically removed from service providers, healthcare providers, and other services. This helps to prevent a possible conflict of interest, which is particularly relevant with patients who are either mentally ill or who do not have mental capacity. It also means that they don’t make any direct decisions for the person they are supporting; instead, they provide them with all the necessary information so that they can make an informed decision themselves. Of course, if the individual in question does not have mental capacity or suffers from a mental illness, then it is possible for an independent advocate to speak on their behalf. As a result, they act as an important spokesperson for these individuals, advising them on their rights and making sure their wishes are carried out (where possible). The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) states that there are four main themes of advocacy: Safeguarding people who are vulnerable and discriminated against or whom services find difficult to serve. Empowering people who need a stronger voice by enabling them to express their own needs and make their own decisions. Enabling people to gain access to information, explore and understand their

The most important amendments to the Mental Health Act in 2017

In 2017 the Policing and Crime Act introduced some significant changes to sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Important changes to section 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act, made by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, came into force on 11 December 2017. The changes to the police powers and places of safety provisions have already be set out. Briefly they are as follows: Section 135 provides for a magistrate to issue a warrant allowing a police officer to enter premises to remove a mentally disordered person to a place of safety. The amended legislation allows an assessment to take place in the premises/ home under certain circumstances. Sectioin 136 - if a person appears to a constable to be suffering from mental disorder and to be in immediate need of care or control, the constable may, if he thinks it necessary to do so in the interests of that person or for the protection of other persons remove that person to a place of safety….. or, if already in a place of safety to keep them there or to take them to another place of safety Section 136 powers may be exercised anywhere other than in a private dwelling; It’s unlawful to use a police station as a place of safety for anyone under the age of 18 in any circumstances; A police station can only be used as a place of safety for adults in ‘exceptional circumstances’, which are set out in regulations; The previous maximum detention period of up to 72 hours will be reduced to 24 hours (unless a doctor certifies that an extension of up to 12 hours is necessary); Before exercising a section

Have You Drawn Up Your Will Yet?

It's prudent for every adult to draw up and sign a will. You may say that your assets are minimal, and you think it's not worth the trouble. However, things may change unexpectedly. You might receive a surprise inheritance. If you die without a will, the court will decide who receives your assets. Young people may think they are invincible, and the farthest thing from their mind is making a will. For many others, it is just procrastination. Their intentions are good, but they just never get around to making a will. Recent research reports that fewer than 50% of adults in the UK have a will. There are some excellent reasons for having a will set up: If you pass away with no will, the court must appoint a person to act as administrator of your will. It can either be someone in the family or a third party. The administrator may make decisions which may seem very unfair and cause contention among family members. The court system will be in charge of distributing your assets. Your estate will be settled by following the state laws of inheritance. Having a will can spare your heirs unnecessary expense, time and possibly excess emotional stress by not knowing how you wanted them to distribute your assets. If you have dependent children, the court will be the one to choose a guardian for the children. A solicitor can set up a will by filling out forms you need, but you should do some research about any exceptional circumstances that may apply to your particular situation. Drawing up a will allows you to name an executor and choose an estate attorney. This document gives your executor the power

  • personal injury claims

UK Personal Injury Claims

The law relating to personal injury claims was changed to reflect government concerns over a perceived 'compensation culture.' The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) brought significant changes to the way in which personal injury claims are funded, and how legal costs are recovered. So what are these changes, and how might they affect victims of personal injury who are thinking of making a claim for compensation? Conditional Fee Arrangements Conditional Fee Arrangements are generally known as 'no win, no fee' claims for compensation, whereby the defendant pays all legal costs if they lose the case. In addition to the solicitor's base charges, these costs often included payment of an insurance premium and a 'success' fee. A 25% cap has been placed on the success fee chargeable by a solicitor. This cap excludes damages for future care and loss, which are provided full protection within the new regulations. Success fees are now recoverable from compensation awarded to the claimant, although the defendant remains liable for other base legal costs. Damages Based Agreements (DBA) Damages Based Agreements are a means of funding legal cases. Historically, DBAs were not used for personal injury cases, but since the new legislation came into force in April, this form of Agreement is now allowable. As with Conditional Fee Arrangements, solicitors' success fees are capped at 25% excluding amounts for future care and loss. A winning claimant is now responsible for paying any shortfall between the defendant's costs and the pre-agreed DBA fee. After the Event Insurance (ATE) Prior to the introduction of the new legislation, a claimant was able to take out an insurance policy to financially protect themselves should they lose the claim. The cost of

Mind Over Matter

Best Psychiatry Consultancy 2016 winner, Independent Psychiatry let us know what they have done to ensure that they stay at the top of their industry. Independent Psychiatry take pride in their confidential, professional and friendly service. They offer advice, assessment and management for all mental health requirements. They also accept GP referrals, understanding the frustration long waiting lists for treatment and diagnosis can cause, they aim to see all clients within two weeks of instruction. Independent Psychiatry was established in 2008 by its founder members on the ethos of providing the best possible service and care for individuals requiring psychiatric assistance. Originally based in Glasgow, they have rapidly expanded and now provide assessments throughout the UK due to their commitment and ability to deliver high quality and comprehensive services to their clients, having built up a diverse portfolio of clients from across the Country. Independent Psychiatry believe that everyone has the right to be provided with the quality care and assistance they expect, to diagnose and tackle mental health issues. All their services offer a fully independent opinion, and their consultants will always act with integrity in the most professional manner. Their purpose is to deliver an uncompromising level of assessment and care, and to improve the quality of life for the growing number of people struggling with mental health problems. They specialise in working with the mental health legislation and have experts that provide psychiatric opinions for Courts and Tribunals. They also provide medico legal reports, reports for capacity assessment, risk assessment (e.g HCR20), suicide risk assessment, benefit appeals, immigration applications, parental right appeals, the DVLA, action for eviction, personal injury and employment tribunals amongst others. Our psychiatrists regularly assess fitness for trial, criminal

The Effects of Deportation Has on Families

Parents and their children who face deportation often face psychological difficulties In today’s volatile political environment with Brexit and the general election, problems with the immigration system can occur and these parents are often denied the ability to remain permanent residents; they are forced to leave. Their children, British citizens by birth, are subsequently denied their birthright and, because of the deportation of their parents, are robbed of the benefits that other citizens receive. This can lead to traumatic consequences for the adults and children. There are reports of cases of long-term disturbance among children who underwent separation from their caregivers for even a day. Some parents claim that their children cry uncontrollably when dropped off at school or day-care because of the fear of being separated from their caregivers again. Psychologists have noted signs of depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress in some of these children. Being excluded from the community is another consequence of it. A report describes one woman’s experience, “Nobody talks to us anymore. They treat us like criminals.” Families are described to “turn in on themselves.” This social exclusion and isolation can induce depression and accentuate psychological distress among parents and children. Psychologists have noted that some people appear to have absorbed the feeling of being labelled an outcast and are living isolated from their previous social networks. The children in this case are often stigmatised and harassed for having parents who have been arrested. This stigmatisation causes some children to live in the constant fear of friends and peers finding out the identity of their parents. They are sometimes warned to keep this a secret, which can further contribute to feelings of isolation and shame. What happens to families

  • work-related stress

How to deal with work-related stress

According to the Health & Safety Executive 2013/14, in the UK 40% of workforce reported work-related stress. 1 in 5 visits to GPs are related to stress. Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health. Common Sources of Work Stress What causes this stress, I hear you ask? From research, heavy demand, lack of control over work, low level of support from colleagues and management, bullying and harassment, constant change, are the culprits. You know you are stressed when you start worrying about work at home, dread going to work, lose sleep, and become increasingly short tempered. Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are: Low salaries. Excessive workloads. Few opportunities for growth or advancement. Work that isn't engaging or challenging. Lack of social support. Not having enough control over job-related decisions. Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations. Tips To Manage Stress Here are some recognised Stress Busters to help you combat the strains of work-related stress: Recognise signs early Don’t bring work home Learn to say no. Always take breaks. A few minutes of exercise every day goes a long way. Speak to your supervisor; employers have a duty of care. Create a network of support: family, friends & colleagues Get involved in activities you enjoy outside work, ex: hobbies, voluntary work, learning new skills, something positive to cherish. Avoid smoking/drinking excessively