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Safeguarding People Affected by The Mental Health Act: HIW Produces Second Report

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has today published its second annual report setting out the findings from its work in monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act in Wales during 2010 - 11.

The Act gives organisations such as health boards and the police legal powers to detain people under certain circumstances or place conditions on them whilst they are in the community. HIW assumed responsibility for this monitoring role in Wales following the dissolution of the Mental Health Act Commission in 2009.
HIW Chief Executive Dr Peter Higson said:
"Our role is to ensure that organisations apply the Mental Health Act properly, that patients are treated with dignity and respect and that they receive ethical and lawful treatment that is appropriate to their needs."
"Generally we found that the correct legal processes had been followed when patients where detained under the Mental Health Act. However our report identifies areas where improvements need to be made in the overall provision of care and treatment."
HIW has been set up to monitor and regulate healthcare in Wales. We also protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act. We regulate and register independent healthcare providers to ensure that they are qualified to carry out their work and that they meet the standards for quality and safety set out in law.
HIW has a number of Mental Health Act Reviewers who carry out announced and unannounced visits to settings. They monitor that the correct legal processes are being adhered to, that patients understand their rights, and receive the care and treatment that is appropriate to their needs.
HIW also appoints Second Opinion Appointed Doctors (SOADs) to authorise proposals for treatment in certain circumstances, normally involving patients who are unwilling or unable to consent to treatment.

Source: Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)