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Professor Louis Appleby comments on mental health report

22 August 2013
  • Public

Some people may be being detained unnecessarily to secure hospital treatment, according to the Health Select Committee’s report on the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2007.

Professor Louis Appleby, Care Quality Commission board member, said: “We have heard anecdotal evidence that patients may be detained under the MHA simply to obtain access to an inpatient bed.

“Our view is clear - the principle of least restriction is a fundamental consideration for professionals making decisions about a course of action under the Mental Health Act.

“Detention solely as a mechanism to secure access to hospital treatment would not be lawful and if hospital or local authority staff think it is happening, or feel pressured to admit people in this way, they should report it to their trust – and if necessary to CQC.”

We are considering exploring this further in our forthcoming review of Emergency mental health care. This review will also take forward the mapping of access to health based places of safety, noted in the Health Select Committee’s report.

We will also be contributing to discussions around the implementation of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) in circumstances where people lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment.

Last updated:
29 May 2017