Mental Health Act Commission

(Redirected from MHAC)

A quango set up under s121 Mental Health Act 1983. Replaced by the Care Quality Commission on 1/4/09 so everything on this page is out of date.

About the MHAC

The MHAC described itself as follows:

The Mental Health Act Commission was established in 1983 and consists of some 100 members (Commissioners), including laypersons, lawyers, doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and other specialists.

Its functions are:

  • To keep under review the operation of the Mental Health act 1983 in respect of patients liable to be detained under the Act.
  • To visit and interview, in private, patients detained under the Act in hospitals and mental nursing homes.
  • To investigate complaints which fall within the Commission's remit.
  • To review decisions to withhold the mail of patients detained in the High Security Hospitals.
  • To appoint medical practitioners and others to give second opinions in cases where this is required by the Act.
  • To publish and lay before Parliament a report every 2 years.
  • To monitor the implementation of the Code of Practice and propose amendments to Ministers.

In addition, the Commission is encouraged by the Secretary of State to advise on policy matters that fall within the Commission's remit.

Biennial Reports

Guidance notes

On 1/11/08 the MHAC issued updated guidance notes, which were (at one point) available on the CQC website. They took effect on 3/11/08. On 5/11/08 they published guidance notes relevant to Wales, with the same titles.

The following guidance was issued in January 2009:

  • Second Opinions for Supervised Community Treatment patients who are refusing medication for mental disorder
  • Treatment under emergency power for Supervised Community Treatment patients who are awaiting Second Opinions


In October 2008 the MHAC published the following new/updated forms:

  • MHAC1 - Review of Treatment Form (revised 30/10/08)
  • MHAC2 - SOAD Report Form (revised 29/10/08)
  • Blank Treatment Plan - FOR SCT Patients
  • Blank Treatment Plan - NON SCT Patients

The following forms were also available:

  • MHAC 4 - Visit undertaken following the Death of a detained patient
  • MHAC 5 - Post Inquest Report
  • MHAC 3 - Death of a Detained Patient information form
  • Vulnerable Patient Groups - Children and Minors


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