• Work on this briefing will begin in January 2024. We will be accepting stakeholder contributions until early March 2024.
  • More information on how to contribute to POST research is available in our guidance for contributors.

The Government intends to reform the Mental Health Act (1983) and published a draft Bill in 2022. The draft Bill removes learning disabilities and autism as conditions for which people can be detained for treatment in some circumstances. The principle of removing learning disability and autism from the definition of the Act is widely supported by stakeholders, but there are concerns that this could mean that people will be diverted to the criminal justice system, or be inappropriately detained under different legal powers, with safeguards that some view as less stringent.

This POSTnote will explore the implications of the proposals, stakeholder perspectives, and highlight the related complexities arising from the interface between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act.

Work on this briefing will begin in January 2024. We will be accepting stakeholder contributions until early March 2024.


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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