Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018

Document Number:2018 CHAPTER 27
 
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An Act to make provision about the oversight and management of the appropriate use of force in relation to people in mental health units; to make provision about the use of body cameras by police officers in the course of duties in relation to people in mental health units; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Key definitions

1 Key definitions

(1) This section applies for the purposes of this Act.

(2)“Mental disorder” has the same meaning as in the Mental Health Act 1983.

(3)“Mental health unit” means—

(a) a health service hospital, or part of a health service hospital, in England, the purpose of which is to provide treatment to in-patients for mental disorder, or

(b) an independent hospital, or part of an independent hospital, in England—

(i) the purpose of which is to provide treatment to in-patients for mental disorder, and

(ii) where at least some of that treatment is provided, or is intended to be provided, for the purposes of the NHS.

(4) In subsection (3)(b)(ii) the reference to treatment provided for the purposes of the NHS is to be read as a service provided for those purposes in accordance with the National Health Service Act 2006.

(5)“Patient” means a person who is in a mental health unit for the purpose of treatment for mental disorder or assessment.

(6) References to “use of force” are to—

(a) the use of physical, mechanical or chemical restraint on a patient, or

(b) the isolation of a patient.

(7) In subsection (6)—

“physical restraint” means the use of physical contact which is intended to prevent, restrict or subdue movement of any part of the patient’s body;

“mechanical restraint” means the use of a device which—

is intended to prevent, restrict or subdue movement of any part of the patient’s body, and

is for the primary purpose of behavioural control;

“chemical restraint” means the use of medication which is intended to prevent, restrict or subdue movement of any part of the patient’s body;

“isolation” means any seclusion or segregation that is imposed on a patient.

Accountability

2 Mental health units to have a responsible person

(1) A relevant health organisation that operates a mental health unit must appoint a responsible person for that unit for the purposes of this Act.

(2) The responsible person must—

(a) be employed by the relevant health organisation, and

(b) be of an appropriate level of seniority.

(3) Where a relevant health organisation operates more than one mental health unit that organisation must appoint a single responsible person in relation to all of the mental health units operated by that organisation.

3 Policy on use of force

(1) The responsible person for each mental health unit must publish a policy regarding the use of force by staff who work in that unit.

(2) Where a responsible person is appointed in relation to all of the mental health units operated by a relevant health organisation, the responsible person must publish a single policy under subsection (1) in relation to those units.

(3) Before publishing a policy under subsection (1) , the responsible person must consult any persons that the responsible person considers appropriate.

(4) The responsible person must keep under review any policy published under this section.

(5) The responsible person may from time to time revise any policy published under this section and, if this is done, must publish the policy as revised.

(6) If the responsible person considers that any revisions would amount to a substantial change in the policy, the responsible person must consult any persons that the responsible person considers appropriate before publishing the revised policy.

(7) A policy published under this section must set out what steps will be taken to reduce the use of force in the mental health unit by staff who work in that unit.

4 Information about use of force

(1) The responsible person for each mental health unit must publish information for patients about the rights of patients in relation to the use of force by staff who work in that unit.

(2) Before publishing the information under subsection (1) , the responsible person must consult any persons that the responsible person considers appropriate.

(3) The responsible person must provide any information published under this section—

(a) to each patient, and

(b) to any other person who is in the unit and to whom the responsible person...

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