Podcast: A crash course for social workers on changes to the Mental Health Act code of practice

A 10 minute guide to some of the key changes to the code of practice and some concerns that have been raised by practitioners

Picture credit: Charlie Milligan

The Mental Health Act code of practice is being reviewed for the first time in six years in light of concerns that the 2008 code was too often “inconsistently applied, misunderstood or ignored”. A draft revised code is out to consultation until September 12. In this podcast, Dr Nicky Guy, the Department of Health (DH) official leading the review, explains how changes in the code will impact social work practice and key areas that the DH needs social work feedback on.

How to respond to the consultation and other key reading

Did you find this podcast helpful?

This is the first podcast I’ve tried so any feedback on it would be incredibly helpful. At the end of the day, we want our content to help social workers with their practice and keep up-to-date with key changes in the sector. Was the length of the podcast about right? Did the content prove useful? Would you like to see other mental health or adult social care topics covered in a similar way? Any suggestions for improvements would be appreciated – email me at andy.mcnicoll@rbi.co.uk.

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One Response to Podcast: A crash course for social workers on changes to the Mental Health Act code of practice

  1. George Platts August 27, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    I would like to see more energy spent on advocating for a range of options available locally to people in crisis rather than focusing on admission to hospital. And the code could help to stimulate the use of alternatives in a safe and legal way.

    For example, the code could give guidance on the application of the MCA and consent to treatment to emergency admissions to care homes and this could result in a better alternative for older people with mental health problems in particular. Similarly, the use of crisis houses, shared lives schemes, family respite, and day services may all offer good alternatives, but need to be provided in a correct legal framework, which, following the Cheshire West judgement, is very different framework.

    Some areas have gone well beyond the traditional options of admission to hospital or home treatment team and are conscious of the inadequacies of that choice. AMHPs should be the first to look for imaginative and innovative alternatives, and have the ideal background of knowledge and skills to ensure that the legal framework and level of restriction is right for the the individual’s capacity, resources, needs and risks.