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Modernising the Mental Health Act: Increasing choice, reducing compulsion

Final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983

Our terms of reference and interim report set out a number of reasons why we have carried out this Review. There is a clear case for change: the rate of detention is rising; the patient’s voice is lost within processes that are out-of-date and can be uncaring; there is unacceptable overrepresentation of people from black and minority ethnic groups amongst people detained; and people with learning disabilities and or autism are at a particular disadvantage. We are also concerned that we are out-of-step with our human rights obligations.

We have taken a look at the issues that might be driving the rising rates of detention, and these are set out later in this section. We have also set out the patient experience, as we heard it from service users, which makes difficult reading for the professionals involved in this Review, but brings some of the shadows of detention into the light. We have also addressed our position on human rights.