Mental health law under review: messages from English safeguarding adults reviews

Journal article citation:
Journal of Adult Protection, 21(1), 2019, pp.46-64.

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine safeguarding adults reviews (SARs) that refer to mental health legislation in order to contribute to the review of English mental health law (2018). Design/methodology/approach: Searches of a variety of sources were conducted to compile a list of relevant SARs. These are summarised and their contexts assessed for what they reveal about the use and coherence of mental health legislation. Findings: The interaction of the statutes under consideration, in particular the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983, the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005, together with the Care Act 2014, presents challenges to practitioners and the efficacy of their application is variable. Research limitations/implications: In light of the absence of a duty to report SARs to a national register, it is possible that relevant SARs were missed in the search phase of this research, meaning that the results do not present a complete picture. Practical implications: Examining cases where use of legislative provisions in mental health has been found wanting or legislation may not be easily implemented may inform initiatives to increase understanding of the law in this area. Originality/value: This paper’s originality and value lie in its focus on mental health legislation as discussed in SARs at a time when both the MHA 1983 and the MCA 2005 are the focus of attention for reform. (Publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
mental health law, safeguarding adults, Safeguarding Adult Reviews, mental capacity, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Care Act 2014, vulnerable adults, reporting procedures;
Content type:
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