Intended for healthcare professionals


Reforms to mental health laws will prioritise care and patient choice

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 12 May 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1194
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A draft bill incorporating major reforms to outdated mental health laws in England and Wales has been promised by the government in the queen’s speech.

The first big changes to mental health law in 40 years follow a review of the 1983 Mental Health Act in 2018, headed by Simon Wessely, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.1

The forthcoming draft bill aims to reduce the number of people being detained under current legislation and the disproportionate number of black people being detained. Black people are four times more likely than white …

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