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A time to keep silent and a time to speak: Reviewing the Mental Health Act

  • A. S. Zigmond (a1)
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The final report of the Scoping Study Committee (Richardson Committee) reviewing the Mental Health Act 1983 is eagerly awaited. All psychiatrists, either individually or through the College, had an opportunity to express their views on what changes in legislation are needed and to comment on the draft proposals (Scoping Study Committee, 1999). Many psychiatrists did neither. Yet to use modem terminology, psychiatrists are one of the major ‘stakeholders' of mental health legislation. A valuable way of ascertaining colleagues' views in a structured way is by surveys of the type conducted by Buchanan & Gunn (1999, this issue). Given that the Richardson Committee has yet to publish proposals for ‘Part III’ the survey is timely. The response rate is, of course, very important and one is left wondering why a third of the general and community psychiatrists did not respond. Work load, burn-out or lack of familiarity with Part III of the Act are possible explanations.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Office for National Statistics (1999) Annual Abstract of Statistics. London: The Stationery Office.
Buchanan, A. & Gunn, J. (1999) What do psychiatrists think about Part III of the Mental Health Act? Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 721 725.
Home Office & Department of Health (1999) Managing Dangerous People With Severe Personality Disorder. London: Home Office.
Mental Health Act Commission (1999) Eighth Biennial Report Nottingham: Mental Health Act Commission.
Scoping Study Committee (1999) Draft Outline Proposals. London: Department of Health.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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A time to keep silent and a time to speak: Reviewing the Mental Health Act

  • A. S. Zigmond (a1)
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