Mental health detention – UK Government assessment

Progress assessment

Limited progress

There have been legal or policy changes to improve human rights protections but very limited evidence of sustained improvements in the enjoyment of human rights on this issue

In recent years, there have been new laws to improve rights protections for those detained under the Mental Health Act through the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act and the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act, although both Acts are yet to be implemented. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to additional investment in crisis and community care, which could prevent detentions or delayed discharges. However, evidence indicates ongoing increased rates of detention under the Mental Health Act, significant issues of disproportionality in both detention and restraint, and poor treatment and delayed discharges for some people with learning disabilities and/or autism. The pandemic has exacerbated the overall rates of poor mental health, and reduced important safeguards against mental health detention.

Read more about the UK Government’s actions on mental health detention.

The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 15/09/2020