The mental health law team oversees and provides enhanced support with the application of mental health legislation across the Trust.

The team also represents the first point of contact to access legal advice for Trust-wide colleagues around queries related to the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act.

The Mental Health Act is the main piece of legislation that covers the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a mental health disorder (within the meaning of the act). If individuals need urgent treatment and are at risk of harm, then they can be detained and treated without their agreement under this act. 

The Mental Capacity Act applies to individuals who lack the capacity to make certain decisions as a result of an impairment of their brain or mind. This framework covers both day-to-day matters and serious life-changing decisions, either in hospital or in the community, and provides professionals with a framework to guide them when making decisions on the patient’s behalf.

The Liberty Protection Safeguards will replace the DoLS framework and introduce new statutory responsibilities for NHS Trusts. The scheme aims to safeguard individuals who lack the mental capacity to consent to their care arrangements, if these amount to a deprivation of liberty.