England needs more second opinion psychiatrists to safeguard patients’ rights

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 17 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4840
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. 1London

    The shortage of second opinion doctors to make decisions under the Mental Health Act is a major concern for the Department of Health, England’s national director for mental health, Louis Appleby, has admitted.

    Speaking at a conference of mental health trust managers in Birmingham on 12 November, Professor Appleby called on them to try to recruit more doctors whose role it is to give a second opinion, if requested to do so, before a patient is sectioned under the act.

    “We need your help in getting this right,” he said. “We need 40 more doctors. If every organisation here produced a second opinion doctor, the problem would …

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