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.
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.
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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