In 2022 the Government published a Draft Mental Health Bill to modernise the Mental Health Act (1983). The draft Bill was informed by an Independent Review (2018) which had a focus on improving patient choice and autonomy. In January 2023, pre-legislative scrutiny by the Joint Committee on the Mental Health Bill noted that enhancing patient choice is an effective way to reduce detentions and to narrow health inequalities.

This POSTnote will explain plans to improve patient choice in the context of reforming the Mental Health Act. It will explore the Government’s proposals and the Joint Committee’s recommendations on shared decision making in planning care and treatment, patient advocacy and the role of advance choice planning. The briefing will summarise the research literature relevant to these areas, drawing on other areas of best practice in medicine and healthcare. It will also highlight stakeholder perspectives on the draft Bill and on the Joint Committee’s analysis.

Work on this briefing will commence in February 2023.

Photo by Bongkarn on Adobe Stock

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