Mental health network

Independent review of the Mental Health Act publishes interim report

Sean Duggan

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act has today published an interim report giving an update on the progress of the review so far and a summary of future aims.

The review will seek to achieve the following:

  • Service users and carers being treated with dignity and respect       
  • Greater access to services for those that need them
  • Making the least restrictive option appropriate to a person’s circumstances the default option
  • Improved service user and carer wellbeing
  • Service users and carers supported to be fully involved in treatment as possible
  • Reduced disparities between groups with protected characteristics

The Mental Health Network welcomes the review’s commitment to addressing these key issues and looks forward to continuing its role on the review’s Advisory Group.

Mental Health Network response

Responding to the interim report, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, said:

"It is crucial the Mental Health Act works for all people affected by it and we therefore welcome a refresh which puts an emphasis on giving service users a say in as many aspects of care as possible.

"The variation in detention rates between ethnic groups is deeply concerning and we look forward to closer scrutiny on what can be done to remove this disparity.

"However, we are encouraged to also see recognition of the need for an overhaul of the application of the Act within the criminal law context.

"We hope the government will see fit to ensure any suggested changes to practice are fully resourced – rather than relying on providers to further stretch their limited resources."

Further information

The network aims to publish a full briefing for members on this important piece of work within the next two weeks.

Members are encouraged to read the full ‘Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: interim report’ here. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the report, please do get in touch at

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