Warning this is a bit complicated! “The dividing line between the use of the MHA and the MCA DOLS is fiendishly complicated (a senior judge described it as like putting your head inside a washing machine and spin dryer)”.
Lucy Series (legal expert, academic and blogger) has just published a thorough but informative blog article on Psychiatric Detention under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
- She explains that psychiatric detention takes place under the Mental Capacity Act as well as the Mental Health Act 1983, but with weaker procedural safeguards
- She emphasises that psychiatric detention under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 mainly affects people with dementia and learning disabilities
- She expresses over proposed legislative changes e.g. Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill: “Current and proposed reforms to mental health and capacity laws will weaken safeguards and support for thousands of people with dementia or learning disabilities in psychiatric settings”
Having recently attended events organised by Public Health England around the topic of how to improve the health and consequent life expectancy of people with a learning disability, and aware of the findings of previous research on the issue stretching back beyond the Marmot Report of 2010, (sadly) I was not surprised by the contents of a report just published (5th Nov) by University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity (IHE), entitled ‘A Fair, Supportive Society’
This is how the Press Release for the Report introduced its findings:
Shocking new report on children with learning disabilities: Half aren’t diagnosed in childhood; those who are won’t collect their pension.
A new report published today, 5 November, by the UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE) shows the Government’s emphasis on ‘fairness’ and fixing a ‘broken society’ has failed, catastrophically, for hundreds of thousands of children with learning disabilities. The IHE report A fair, Supportive Society shows the most vulnerable in society – those with learning disabilities – will die 15-‐20 years sooner on average than the general population –that’s 1,200 people every year.
More shocking, explains the IHE’s Director, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, is the fact that this difference is not an inevitable consequence of the underlying condition that led to the learning disability…
The Report itself, available on line here. Perhaps, just take a look at its Executive Summary and Recommendations (pages 6-9)
As Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the IHE states: “Much of the action to improve the social determinants of health for those with learning disabilities will also improve health for others at higher risk of ill health because of social disadvantage. Therefore the actions recommended here will not only improve lives and health outcomes for a highly vulnerable group, people with learning disabilities, but could also help to reduce inequalities in health across thepopulation. The time to act is now.”
Headline on Sky News website last week (4th Nov):
More than 2,300 people have been treated in secure hospitals since 2015 where practices include the seclusion of patients”.
Please read the full story
Now receiving some feedback from posts and blogs on learning disability and/or autism, and health and obesity.
One correspondent with experience of the Camphill movement , and of Botton village in particular, drew our attention to the evidence submitted by the Botton Village Families Group (BVLG), firstly at its ‘Choice for Intentional Community’ presentation to MPs and peers in Sept 2015, and latterly to the Parliamentary Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee in 2017 during its Inquiry into Social Care: specifically, to a paper submitted by Dr Marcus van Dam, of the Danby Surgery, North Yorkshire (the surgery which serves Botton Village), entitled ‘A healthy way of life’. Dr van Dam’s article is concise, and makes for an interesting read. It also gives some background information on Botton (up to 2015). Continue reading
Further to a posting a week ago citing two articles in the ‘i’ by journalist Ian Birrell, in which we observed that “Ian is clearly seething with rage, and we suspect and hope that he will not give up on this issue”, we can report that a further article by Ian appeared on Sunday 28th October (and with a slight reworking on the 29th Oct in the Monday edition of the ‘i’).
The article headlined “Young people are being locked away for years because they have autism and learning disabilities. Some never make it out.” is available to read here. When re-published a day later the headline ran “The care system remains twisted – Incarcerating people with learning difficulties is inhumane”
Please read the article: Ian reports that his citing the case of ‘Beth’ three weeks ago, prompted a response from the Health Secretary and Beth’s removal ‘from solitary’; but he has clearly been informed (by parents and family carers) of many others who have been ‘interned’ in hospitals and short-stay(?!) facilities. Ian describes their stories as Dickensian, and clearly feels that the agenda for change post-Winterbourne has failed.