Mind (Charity) archive

See Mind (Charity) for current documents.

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More recent Mind newsletters are available on the main page at Mind (Charity).

  • Mind, 'Legal Newsletter' (Issue 13, April 2013). This newsletter contains the following. (1) Articles: (a) Systemic failings of mental health care in immigration detention; (b) Community Treatment Orders and the Octet Study; (c) Mind Crisis Care Campaign; (d) Care and Support Bill and section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. (2) Case reports: (a) R (Chatting) v Viridian Housing [2012] EWHC 3595 (Admin), [2012] MHLO 177; (b) Bures v the Czech Republic [2012] ECHR 1819B; (c) ZH v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2013] EWCA Civ 69, [2013] MHLO 9; (d) RCW v A Local Authority [2013] EWHC 235 (Fam)B. (3) Mental health and human rights update: (a) UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: No More Treatment without Consent; (b) Disability Rights Watch evidence gathering for the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; (c) Equality and Human Rights Commission report on human rights and business; (d) Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody bulletin; (e) Thematic inspection on section 136 police cells as places of safety. (4) Legal Aid update. (5) News: (a) The Fifth Year of the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Service 2011/2012; (b) Winterbourne View: The final Department of Health report; (c) Disability Hate Crime; (d) Care Quality Commission Reports; (e) Mental Health Discrimination Act 2013; (f) Update on the review of the Public Sector Equality Duty; (g) Public Law Project helpline on civil legal aid and exceptional funding project; (h) Implementing a ban on age discrimination in the NHS
  • Mind, 'Legal Newsletter' (Issue 14, December 2013). This newsletter contains the following: (1) Articles: (a) The Independent Commission on Mental Health and Policing Report; (b) Judicial Review: Proposals for further reform; (c) Free Legal Aid for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 - the right to go to court to challenge the lawfulness of your detention; (d) Updating the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983; (e) Mental Health Act Safeguards; (f) The Care Bill 2013 in England: some recent developments. (2) News: (a) Mental Health Discrimination) Act 2013; (b) Independent Mental Health Advocates; (c) Post-legislative scrutiny of the Mental Health Act 2007; (d) Preliminary medical examinations at the Mental Health Tribunal; (e) Mind report on restraint in mental healthcare settings; (f) TW v LB Enfield [2013] EWHC 1180 (QB), [2013] MHLO 59; (g) New NHS Mandate; (h) AM v SLAM NHS Foundation Trust [2013] UKUT 365 (AAC), [2013] MHLO 80.
  • Mind, 'Legal Newsletter' (March 2018) — This newsletter contains news under the following headings: (1) Brick by Brick; (2) Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey UKEAT/0260/16/BA; (3) DL-H v West London Mental Health Trust & Another [2017] UKUT 387 (AAC)M; (4) JMcG v Devon Partnership NHS [2017] UKUT 348 (AAC)M; (5) Mind research - the impact of legal aid cuts on people with mental health problems; (6) Leaving hospital; briefing on discharge from mental health inpatient services; (7) Monitoring the Mental Health Act: 2016/17.


  • Mind, 'The effects of changes to Legal Aid' (April 2014)† (1) Mind has posted a survey on its website to find out how legal aid cuts introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 are affecting people with mental health problems. It will also be used to respond to the call for evidence for the Justice Committee. The survey can be completed by those with experience of mental health problems, whether themselves or as a friend, advocate, family member or carer. (2) Additionally, Mind would like to hear from lawyers and those providing advice or support or services to people with mental health conditions in relation to how those advised and represented have been affected (ideally with case studies). Responses to Andy Kempster (a.kempster@mind.org.uk) 23/4/14.

Section 117 campaign

  • Mind, 'Health and Social Care Bill: Amendment 236B' (15/11/11, updated 2/12/11). Mind's proposal: 'Our amendment would still allow for the wording "Primary Care Trusts" to be replaced with "clinical commissioning groups" in the Mental Health Act, and for consequential amendments resulting from the abolition of PCTs. However, our amendment would: (1) Retain the joint duty on CCGs and social services authorities, (2) ensure that CCGs continue to arrange for provision of services under s117 in co-operation with relevant voluntary agencies, (3) ensure that the arrangement of services by CCGs under s117 are not limited to services arranged under section 3 or section 3A of the NHS Act (by deleting proposed subsection (2E)), (4) ensure that the duty on CCGs will not be regarded as a duty under section 3 NHS Act. This means it remains a freestanding duty under section 117 MHA, and the possibility of charging for aftercare is removed (by deleting proposed subsection (2F)).'

Rabone case

Press release: For immediate release 8 February 2012

Supreme Court ruling welcomed by leading mental health and human rights organizations

Hospitals must ensure that they take appropriate steps to prevent voluntary psychiatric patients from taking their own lives, according to a landmark judgment handed down today by the Supreme Court. The unanimous ruling, which has been welcomed by leading mental health and human rights organisations, held that Pennine Care NHS Trust had a duty under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights to protect the right to life of Melanie Rabone, and failed in this duty when she took her own life in April 2005.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said

"Today's judgment recognises that a positive duty is owed towards patients with mental health problems at times when they are most at risk of harm. The law now applies whether or not a patient has been formally detained. Now it is clear that in times of crisis everyone will have the strongest protection that the law can offer."

Emma Norton, Liberty's Legal Officer said:

"This landmark human rights judgment means that voluntary patients in psychiatric care will finally get the same legal protection as sectioned patients. Hospitals rightly acknowledge their serious duties to detained people - why should those who have asked for help be any different?"

Jodie Blackstock, Director of Criminal and EU Justice Policy at JUSTICE added:

"With all the scepticism currently surrounding the European Convention on Human Rights, this case demonstrates what a vital role it has in protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in society. In this case the Supreme Court has not only acknowledged that through the Convention the state holds a responsibility for those in its care to which there is a real and immediate risk of death, but when it fails in that duty, parents should be entitled to vindicate their loss also."

INQUEST Co-Director, Deborah Coles said:

"INQUEST welcomes the Supreme Court's landmark ruling that psychiatric patients are owed a positive duty of protection under human rights law. This must go hand in hand with an investigation and inquest process that ensures deaths in psychiatric care are independently and robustly scrutinised. This would not only enable families to find out what happened to their relatives but also ensure lessons are learned to help prevent deaths in the future."

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

1. In November 2011 the Supreme Court heard the case of Rabone v Pennine Care NHS Trust - a case with potentially far reaching benefits for psychiatric patients. Judgment was handed down today.

INQUEST, JUSTICE, Liberty and Mind intervened in the case in the Supreme Court. The organisations were legally represented, pro bono, by Paul Bowen and Alison Pickup of Doughty Street Chambers and Saimo Chahal of Bindmans LLP.

2. Patients on psychiatric wards are at a particularly significant risk of suicide - for many it is the very reason for their admission.

In 2008 the House of Lords heard the case of Savage v South Essex NHS Trust in which INQUEST, JUSTICE, Liberty and Mind intervened. The Court held that hospitals owed a duty to patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, such as Carol Savage, to prevent them from taking their own lives. It was a landmark case that recognised that where a psychiatric patient is compelled to be in hospital, the hospital authorities have a positive duty to safeguard them from taking their own lives.

However, the law did not give the same protection to informal (or "voluntary") patients. For people who have experienced mental illness and self harm and for those who work closely with them, this seemed to be a glaring anomaly. Informal patients on psychiatric wards may be at just as much risk of suicide as detained patients. Yet the NHS Trust argued that they were not owed the same positive duty under the Human Rights Act because they were there by 'choice'.

Today's Supreme Court judgment means hospitals must ensure they take reasonable steps to safeguard the right to life of mental health patients in their care - regardless of whether they are detained or not - in circumstances where the authorities know or ought to know that there is a "real and immediate risk" to their life.

3. This case was brought by the parents of a 24 year old woman called Melanie Rabone, who had been admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient following a suicide attempt and was undergoing treatment for severe depression as an informal patient. There was a note on file that if Melanie tried to leave, she should be assessed under the Mental Health Act with a view to detaining her. Despite this, and against the wishes of her parents, she was granted leave from the ward. Shortly afterwards she took her own life. The Trust acknowledged that it had been negligent but denied that it owed her a direct, positive duty under the Human Rights Act to protect her.

4. INQUEST is the only organisation in England and Wales that provides a specialist, comprehensive advice service on contentious deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, other advice and support agencies, the media, parliamentarians and the wider public. For further information please contact Deborah Coles or Anna Edmundson on 020 7263 1111. [Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.]

5. JUSTICE is an all party law reform organisation committed to access to justice, human rights and the rule of law. It is the British section of the International Commission of Jurists. For further information contact Jodie Blackstock on 0207 7626436 or by email to jblackstock@justice.org.uk.

6. Liberty is an independent non-party political body whose principle objectives are the protection of civil liberties and the promotion of human rights in the UK. For further information please contact the Liberty press office on 020 7378 3656 or 07973 831128.

7. Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. We're currently working to put people at the heart of mental health crisis care. For further information please contact the Mind Media team on 02085221743/0785 0788514 or by email to: media@mind.org.uk

Julia Lamb Senior Media Officer

Mind 15 - 19 Broadway London E15 4BQ

Direct line: 020 8215 2239 Press office: 020 8522 1743 Press office mobile: 07850 788 514

Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013

Delayed discharges

  • Mind are looking into potential legal reform in relation to delayed discharges from hospital, and request that people send case studies of patients who have remained in hospital for a number of months owing to delays in arranging aftercare packages (e.g. s117 packages, social care or community psychiatric provision). Please forward any case studies to m.henson-webb@mind.org.uk by the end of June 2017.

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