Mental Health CoP 2015: An evaluation of how the Code is being used
The Mental Health Act (MHA) Code of Practice is still not being used as it was intended to be, with variation in providers’ understanding of the Code and how it should be applied. We looked at three key areas for more insight into the issues. These included understanding and application of the guiding principles, engagement and involvement of patients, and local area working and section 140. We found that: Providers lacked understanding about how to promote, apply and report on the guiding principles in the Code of Practice. oProviders did not support staff well enough to enable them to have meaningful and productive conversations with patients so that they can better understand patients’ goals and how patients can take ownership of their recovery. Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA) offer an additional safeguard and support for patients, but our review of MHA reports shows ongoing difficulties with providing IMHA support. oLocal areas, including commissioners, local authorities, police and providers, should work together better to make sure that people receive the right care across organisations, including making sure that people in need of urgent care have timely access to a bed that is close to home, in line with the expectation of section 140 of the MHA.