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Government committed to reform of the Mental Health Act

The government remains committed to legislate to reform the Mental Health Act so that patients suffering from mental health conditions, who may require care under the Act, "have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve".

The Department for Health and Social Care hosted a public consultation from 13 January 2021 to 21 April 2021 on a set of proposals to reform the Mental Health Act. There were over 1,700 responses. The government has published its formal response to the consultation.

Following the Independent Review conducted by Simon Wessely and published in December 2018, the government published a White Paper in January 2021. This White Paper set out the government's response to reform mental health legislation, responding to the Independent Review. The government proposed substantial changes to the Act, based on four principles:

There was a positive response to the proposed reforms at consultation. The government will now work closely with stakeholders to build on what has been learnt at consultation, and to test and develop the policy proposals. This will include continued engagement with service users, carers, individuals with lived experience of detention, and groups disproportionately subject to the Act.

For the response document, click here.