Patient focus vital for new inspectorate

The chairperson of the Mental Health Act Commission Margaret
Clayton has told Community Care that the new inspectorate taking
over the commission’s role must retain a focus on

he draft Mental Health Bill will set up a division of the Health
Care Inspectorate to monitor the implementation of the new act. The
inspectorate will be able to address any issues such as legal,
clinical or housing that concern patients under compulsory

Clayton is concerned there will no longer be a separate
commission to safeguard the interests of detained patients, but
said there were advantages to a more holistic approach. “We
are more concerned that patients continue to have the same level of
safeguard and that the skills, knowledge and experience of existing
staff and commissioners will be used in the new structure,”
she said.

She believes the service will not be able to replace the
commission’s visiting role, in which 12,000 detained patients
are visited each year.

Clayton also has concerns over the proposal to replace the role
of the approved social worker in detaining a person with an
approved mental health professional. “The criteria for the
approved mental health professional must be clearly set out so that
they add the value that approved social workers currently

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