Axe falls on mental health commission

The Mental Health Act Commission is to be abolished in the
forthcoming mental health bill.

Responsibility for the regulation of the care of people detained
under the 1983 legislation will be passed to the Healthcare
Commission, which replaced the Commission for Health Improvement in

The change, announced last week, is part of the Department of
Health’s drive to increase efficiency by reducing the number of its
arm’s length public bodies from 38 to 20.

Whether all the commissioners employed by the Mental Health Act
Commission will transfer and retain the same freedoms and powers to
visit and interview detained patients in private and consider both
the lawfulness of detention and the overall quality of care is yet
to be decided.

Details are expected to be published in the autumn, perhaps
alongside the revised version of the draft Mental Health Bill,
which is due in September.

The General Social Care Council, Commission for Social Care
Inspection and National Treatment Agency all survived the DoH’s

GSCC chair Rodney Brooke said the council was delighted that the
government decision would enable it to continue driving up

He 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.”

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