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Mental Health Law Online

The internet resource on mental health law, and mental capacity law, for England & Wales. You can read a review of the site here.

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Recent updates

  • 02/04/20: Care Act "easements". DHSC, 'Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities' (1/4/20) — "This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period." The first sentences of the changes (which are each followed by "however"-type sentences) are: (1) Local Authorities will not have to carry out detailed assessments of people’s care and support needs in compliance with pre-amendment Care Act requirements. (2) Local Authorities will not have to carry out financial assessments in compliance with pre-amendment Care Act requirements. (3) Local Authorities will not have to prepare or review care and support plans in line with the pre-amendment Care Act provisions. (4) The duties on Local Authorities to meet eligible care and support needs, or the support needs of a carer, are replaced with a power to meet needs.
  • 02/04/20: Parole Board guidance. Parole Board, 'Further guidance to members' (1/4/20) — (1) A panel can now make these decisions at MCA (Member Case Assessment): (a) to release or recommend transfer to open conditions in appropriate cases on the papers; (b) to refuse release or decline transfer to open conditions in appropriate cases on the papers; (c) to direct a case to an oral hearing. (2) Members have the option to expand the panel if they wish. (3) The guidance includes factors to consider when deciding whether an oral hearing is needed.
  • 02/04/20: Annual CQC report on MHA. CQC, 'Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2018/19' (6/2/20) — The Foreword to the report states that the CQC found: "(1) Services must apply human rights principles and frameworks. Their impact on people should be continuously reviewed to make sure people are protected and respected. (2) People must be supported to give their views and offer their expertise when decisions are being made about their care. (3) People who are in long-term segregation can experience more restrictions than necessary. They also may experience delays in receiving independent reviews. This is particularly true for people with a learning disability and autistic people. (4) People do not always get the care and treatment they need. Some services struggle to offer appropriate options, both in the community and in hospital. (5) It is difficult for patients, families, professionals and carers to navigate the complex laws around mental health and mental capacity."
  • 02/04/20: Case (Inherent jurisdiction and DOL). Hertfordshire CC v K [2020] EWHC 139 (Fam) — "In this matter, the question before the court is whether it should grant a deprivation of liberty order (hereafter a DOL order) under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of AK, born in 2003 and now aged 16."

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During the emergency period, which initially runs for 3 weeks from 26/3/20, no person may leave the place where he is living without reasonable excuse. The English and Welsh regulations set out non-exhaustive lists of reasonable excuses, such as obtaining basic necessities, seeking medical assistance, and travelling to work if it is not reasonably possible to work from home. The police and other relevant authorities have been given enforcement powers. Government advice includes to stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

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