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Workload implications of the proposed new Mental Health Act – an audit

  • Sean Whyte (a1) and Clive Meux (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

To estimate specific time and resource implications for professionals, if proposed changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 (England & Wales) in the Government's white paper were to be implemented unchanged. An audit of time spent on current procedures was extrapolated.

Results

The amount of time required to comply with the Act will rise substantially (by 27% overall). Social workers and independent doctors will spend 30% and 207% more time respectively, complying with the Act, but psychiatrists providing clinical care to forensic patients should be largely unaffected.

Clinical Implications

If the Government presses ahead with its plans for mental health law reform as currently proposed, extra resources will be required to provide additional social work and independent medical time – or other services for patients will suffer.

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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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Mind Policy and Parliamentary Unit (2001) Mind and the Mental Health Act: 1–5. London: MIND.
Percy Commission (1957) Report of the Royal Commission on the Law Relating to Mental Illness and Mental Deficiency (Cmnd 169). London: HMSO.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (2001) White Paper on the Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983. Response from the College's Mental Health Law Sub-Committee. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Scoping Study Committee (1999) Review of Mental Health Act 1983. Draft outline proposals by Scoping Study Committee (Richardson Committee). London: Scoping Study Committee.
Szmukler, G. (2001) A new mental health (and public protection) act. BMJ, 322, 23.
Zigmond, A. S. (2001) Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983: the Green Paper. Psychiatric Bulletin, 25, 126128.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Workload implications of the proposed new Mental Health Act – an audit

  • Sean Whyte (a1) and Clive Meux (a2)
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