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Response to Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 and its Associated Secondary Legislation

  • Launch date:
    10 September 2009
  • Closing date:
    7 October 2009
  • Creator/s:
    Department of Health
  • Copyright holder:
    Crown
  • Gateway number:
    15158
  • Outcome published:
    29 July 2011

The Department has published a consultation response detailing a range of temporary changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”) which could be introduced, if necessary, in the event of an influenza pandemic which had a severe impact on health and social care services.  The full list of potential temporary changes which would require legislative change was finalised following a consultation exercise in autumn 2009 and can be found at Annex C of "Pandemic Influenza and the Mental Health Act 1983 - Response to Consultation on Proposed Changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 and its Associated Secondary Legislation". 

 

The aim of the temporary changes is to ensure that mental health professionals could continue to operate the 1983 Act in the best interests of the health and safety of patients and for the protection of others in what would be truly exceptional circumstances.

 

NHS managers have been asked to ensure that the issues identified in the consultation response document are included in their pandemic preparedness plans.

Background

Between 10 September and 7 October 2009 the Department of Health consulted on “Pandemic Influenza and the Mental Health Act 1983 - proposals for temporary changes to the 1983 Act”. In the light of the consultation comments, the Department concluded that all of the temporary amendments to the 1983 Act that were proposed in the consultation should be included in the package of contingency measures. We have also included some further amendments to section 5 of the 1983 Act in response to consultation comments.

Original Consultation

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