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Personality disorder and mental health legislation in the UK: Commentary on … Personality Disorder and the Mental Health Act 1983 (Amended)

  • Lindsay D. G. Thomson
Summary

This commentary explores the issue of personality disorder and mental health legislation from a UK perspective, highlighting the differences between its four countries and three mental health acts. It discusses data from Scotland that support the contention that the addition of the term ‘personality disorder’ to mental health legislation is not alone sufficient to change current practice. The legislative criterion of risk to others is discussed and the varying responses in the UK to the contentious issue of preventive detention, highly likely to be relevant to serious offenders with personality disorder, are described, including the indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection and the order of lifelong restriction. It is concluded that, regardless of location, care of patients with a primary diagnosis of personality disorder will be driven forward not by legislation but by service development, research and changing attitudes.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Lindsay D. G. Thomson, Department of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh, Kennedy Tower, Morningside Park, Edinburgh EH10 5HF, UK. Email: l.d.g.thomson@ed.ac.uk
Footnotes
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See pp. 329–335, this issue.

Declaration of Interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (Northern Ireland) (2006) Forensic Services. RMHLDNI (http://www.rmhldni.gov.uk/forensic_services_report.pdf).
Centre for Change and Innovation (2005) Personality Disorder in Scotland: Demanding Patients or Deserving People? Scottish Executive.
Department of Health, Home Office, HM Prison Service (2008) Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) High Secure Services For Men: Planning and Delivery Guide. Home Office.
Earle, M (2002) The Mental Health (Scotland) Bill 2: Compulsory Treatment. The Scottish Parliament (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/research/pdf_res_brief/sb02-106.pdf).
MacAskill, K (2010) Written answer to S3W-31340: Justice. In Parliamentary Questions & Answers, Monday 22 February 2010. The Scottish Parliament (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/pqa/wa-10/wa0222.htm).
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2009) Annual Report 2008–09: Key Messages and Challenges. Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2010) Annual Monitoring Report: Overview 2008–2009. Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (http://reports.mwcscot.org.uk/annual_monitoring/overview2008-2009/newordersgrantedin2008-09/compulsory_treatment_orders_09.aspx).
National Institute for Mental Health in England (2003) Personality Disorder: No Longer a Diagnosis of Exclusion. Policy Implementation Guidance of the Development of Services for People with Personality Disorder NIMHE.
Prison Reform Trust (2010) Inspectorates criticise ‘unsustainable’ indeterminate sentences & call for ministerial review. Prison Reform Trust (http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/standard.asp?id=2103).
Scottish Executive (2000) Report of the Committee on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders. Scottish Executive.
Thomson, LDG (2008) The forensic mental health system in the United Kingdom. In Handbook of Forensic Mental Health (eds Soothill, K, Rogers, P, Dolan, M) pp 1963. Willan Publishing.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Personality disorder and mental health legislation in the UK: Commentary on … Personality Disorder and the Mental Health Act 1983 (Amended)

  • Lindsay D. G. Thomson
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