Changes to the mental health system proposed in the Mental Health Act White Paper must be properly funded to be effective.
This is according to a January 2021 press release from Law Society on the reform of the Mental Health Act.
The Law Society notes that many of the proposed reforms in the Mental Health Act White Paper would need a substantial injection of resources to succeed:
- reducing compulsory detention depends upon more accessible and responsive crisis and community-based services
- transferring prisoners to secure hospitals within a 28-day time limit may require extra beds within the secure estate
- extending tribunals’ powers and increasing opportunities to appeal would require more hearings, and so more judges, panel members and tribunal staff
- increasing the role of independent mental health advocates to support patients throughout their journey will require funding
- there will be a greater demand for aftercare services, with an emphasis on enhanced provision for community-based support and treatment, together with statutory care plans
- hospital environments will need to be modernised and refurbished to provide truly therapeutic environments for patients