Mental health and the Mental Capacity Act

Page last updated: 12 May 2022

In this section you can find out more about our work around mental health and mental capacity. This section also includes information about your rights under the Mental Health Act and explains how you can complain about the use of the Act.

What do we do?

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We regulate, inspect and rate mental health services

The services we inspect include those for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism and include care, treatment and support provided in hospital and in the community.

Our inspection teams check these services against our five key questions: are they safe?, are they effective?, are they caring?, are they responsive to people’s needs, and are they well-led?

Find out more about our inspections of mental health services.

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We monitor use of the Mental Health Act

Our job is to check that patients' basic human rights are maintained while they are being cared for or treated under the Mental Health Act.

We visit patients who have been detained and those under community treatment orders and we also appoint Second Opinion Appointed Doctors (SOADs) who check whether the medication that patients receive is correct.

Find out more about the Mental Health Act.

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We monitor use of the Mental Capacity Act and the Act's Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

We monitor the use of the safeguards (also known as DoLS) in all care homes and hospitals in England, and we also provide advice and information on using them.

We check on the use of the safeguards by visiting the places where they are used.

Care services must tell us about the outcome of their application to deprive someone of their liberty.

Find out more about the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

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We also publish reports and research looking at issues around these topics.