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

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

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

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