Following the publication of the final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983, ministers have accepted the reviews recommendations for people to nominate a person to help with care decisions, in place of the ‘nearest relative’, and express advance preferences for treatment that clinicians should usually follow. These will both form part of the Mental Health Bill.

The four principles within the review’s recommendations which are designed to transform the law on the detention and compulsory treatment of people are:

  • Choice and autonomy – ensuring people’s views and choices are respected.
  • Least restriction – ensuring the act’s powers are used in the least restrictive way.
  • Therapeutic benefit – ensuring people are supported to get better so they can be discharged from the act.
  • The person as an individual – ensuring people are viewed and treated as rounded individuals.

The government will give more detail on the legislation and its response to the review in the New Year.