Government clarifies Mental Health Act

Government clarifies Mental Health Act

A clarification relating to the Mental Health Act has been confirmed by the Department of Health.

The government announced that a technical issue has been identified in the way some Strategic Health Authorities have administered the process for approving doctors to work under the Act.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt stated that in the interests of the safety of patients themselves, along with the potential concerns of their families and the staff who care for them, the Department of Health is introducing emergency legislation to clarify the position.

But it was stressed by the government that there is no suggestion that the hospitalisation or detention of patients has been clinically inappropriate.

It also pointed out there is no evidence that the doctors involved are anything other than properly qualified to make the recommendations or that they might have made incorrect diagnoses or decisions about the treatment that patients need.

Mr Hunt became health secretary earlier in the year as a result of a cabinet reshuffle.

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