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Mental health law training should be mandatory for all doctors: Commentary on … Knowledge of mental health legislation in junior doctors training in psychiatry

  • Christopher Schofield (a1)
Summary

Over many years and with various pieces of new legislation there are significant gaps in doctors' knowledge about mental health law. It is time to ensure that doctors know the law and can apply it to the patients they see. Practising legally and not detaining or allowing people to leave hospital inappropriately should be a mandatory part of training for every doctor no matter what the specialty. Medical schools, deaneries, training programme directors and the General Medical Council should take up the challenge and ensure good-quality training for all doctors to ensure good-quality care in this area is given to all patients.

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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.
Corresponding author
Christopher Schofield (chrisschofield@doctors.org.uk)
Footnotes
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See education and training, pp. 460–466, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Wadoo, O, Shah, AJ, Jehaanandan, N, Laing, M, Agarwal, M, Kinderman, P. Knowledge of mental health legislation in junior doctors training in psychiatry. Psychiatrist 2011; 35: 460–6.
2 Buller, C, Storer, D, Bennett, R. A survey of general hospital in-patients detained under Section 5(2) of the 1983 Mental Health Act. Psychiatr Bull 1996; 20: 733–5.
3 Mason, P, Turner, R. Audit of the use of doctors holding power under Section 5(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983. Health Trends 1994; 26: 44–6.
4 Schofield, C. Mental Capacity Act 2005 – what do doctors know? Med Sci Law 2008; 48: 113–6.
5 Royal College of Psychiatrists. A Competency Based Curriculum for Specialist Core Training in Psychiatry: Core Training in Psychiatry CT1-CT3: 36. Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2010.
6 Churchill, R, Wall, S, Hotopf, M, Wessley, S. A Systematic Review of Research Relating to the Mental Health Act (1983). Department of Health, 1999.
7 Schofield, CJ, Zigmond, T. Section 5(2) Mental Health Act 1983: does teaching make a difference? Med Sci Law 2006; 46: 229–32
8 General Medical Council. Tomorrow's Doctors: Outcomes and Standards for Undergraduate Medical Education. GMC, 2009.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Mental health law training should be mandatory for all doctors: Commentary on … Knowledge of mental health legislation in junior doctors training in psychiatry

  • Christopher Schofield (a1)
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