Human Rights and Equality evidence wanted - Mental Health Act Code of Practice 2015

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which has responsibility for monitoring implementation of the Mental Health Act (MHA), is reviewing the 2015 Code of Practice for the Act. This follows the Mental Health Act Review.

NSUN members and friends are invited to supply evidence relevant to chapter three of the Code (pages 29-33); chapter three provides guidance about the use of a human rights and equality approach under the MHA.

Evidence is particularly wanted about issues for people made subject to the Act who face additional disadvantage(s), related, for instance, to:

  • Ethnicity
  • Age (as a young person, or older person)
  • Gender/gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical disabilities
  • Learning difficulties/disabilities and/or autism
  • A visual impairment
  • Being a D/deaf person
  • Living with dementia.

CQC will take this evidence into account as it:

  • Analyses the current fit between (i) the human rights and equality approach set out in the Code of Practice and (ii) approaches being taken to people made subject to the MHA
  • Considers improvements that are needed.

We have been given assurances that:

  1. CQC will also put an emphasis on people facing more than one type of disadvantage under the MHA, whether such disadvantages have had a focus in the final MHA Review report or not. (As you will know, NSUN has raised concerns about the report’s shortfalls in addressing additional discrimination)
  2. Attention will be paid to any human rights and equality shortfalls within the Code itself if one considers it against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, not just against the European Convention of Human Rights (EHRC) and the Human Rights Act which stems from the EHRC.

How you can help

If you’re able to help, please can you send:

  1. Personal accounts of human rights and equality breaches which you have faced under the MHA, related to your experience of more than one type of disadvantage. (I would, of course remove your name before sending this on to CQC)
  2. Literature/reports about human rights and equality breaches for people made subject to the MHA who face more than one form of disadvantage. (Please forward electronic copies of these, or the web links for them.)

Please send your evidence by Sunday 27 January, by email to: 

Dorothy Gould: NSUN’s policy lead for issues related to the Mental Health Act.

[email protected]