The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published their second annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA). The report, which covers the year up to March 2011, puts a strong emphasis on a renewed call for better care for patients whose rights have been restricted under the MHA.
Since the CQC's formation in April 2009, they have been responsible for monitoring the use of the MHA in relation to those patients detained in hospital or receiving supervised community treatment. They publish a report every year using the findings of their MHA Commissioners, who visit wards and meet with patients to ensure that the legal powers are being used correctly.
This year’s report highlights:
- Lack of patient involvement in the care planning process
- Patients' capacity to consent was, in some cases, assumed too readily by doctors
- Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) and the legal powers available to providers are widely misunderstood, even among mental health professionals
- Examples of unnecessary restrictions placed on patients such as denying access to the internet or their rooms and listening to their phone calls.
The report, along with summaries of key findings, is available now on the CQC's website (www.cqc.org.uk).