Mental health monitor axed by health department saving drive

    The Mental Health Act Commission, the body responsible for
    monitoring patients detained under the act, is to be abolished by
    the Department of Health in a drive to save £500 million,
    write Lindsay Clark.

    Health secretary John Reid said the savings would be channelled
    directly into frontline NHS patient care.

    The Mental Health Act Commission’s remit under the Mental
    Health Act 1983 is to monitor the operation of the Act in England
    and Wales as it relates to detained patients, and to visit and
    interview them in private. It considers both the lawfulness of
    detention and the overall quality of care. Its current
    responsibilities will be taken over by the Healthcare Commission,
    launched in April this year to promote improvement the quality of
    NHS, private sector and voluntary healthcare organisations across
    England and Wales.

    The Health Development Agency will also be abolished and have it
    work taken over by the National Institutive for Clinical
    Excellence.

    In the same review of NHS arms length bodies, the General Social
    Care Council, the body that regulates social care workers and sets
    standards of good practice for the care sector, will be
    retained. 

    GSCC chairman Rodney Brooke, said, “The 1.5 million people
    using social care every day are at the heart of our mission. It is
    important for them that the social care workforce is properly
    trained, checked and accountable for delivering high standards of
    care. We are therefore delighted that the government’s
    decision will enable the GSCC to continue its work of driving up
    standards.”

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