Mental health survivors and service-users have been left “underwhelmed” by the interim report of a review into mental health legislation in England and Wales ordered by the prime minister.
One campaigner said it was clear that the review – chaired by Professor Simon Wessely –was “tinkering around the edges” of the Mental Health Act (MHA) and would not be recommending any “dramatic reform”.
She and others raised concerns that the review team appeared to have dismissed calls by the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) for the government to carry out major reform of mental health legislation that would bring the country into line with the UN disability convention.
And there was also frustration that the review appeared to be ignoring the importance of funding and “depleted” mental health services.
Sarah Yiannoullou, managing director of the National Survivor User Network and a member of the review’s advisory panel, said she was “very critical” of the “very short” time allowed for engagement with service-users.
She added: “Our main concern is that it is more of a tinkering around the edges of the current legislation rather than any dramatic reform.”
She was also concerned at the review’s failure to take more account of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.