Mental Health Act powers to be dropped from the Coronavirus Act

30 September 2020

Matt Hancock today announced that a Schedule of the Coronavirus Act would be removed. This temporarily amended the Mental Health Act in the face of potential disruption to health services as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, making changes to the number of healthcare professionals required to assess individuals and the timeframes that they were subject to.

Mark Winstanley, CEO, Rethink Mental Illness:

“The emergency legislation of the Coronavirus Act 2020 represented a concerning reduction in patient rights and safeguards. While we understood the reasons for their initial introduction, we were glad that they were never enacted and are pleased that they are now to be dropped. Today’s news will come as a relief to many people living with mental illness and their loved ones."

“The wait for reform of the Mental Health Act continues however, as thousands of people remain subject to an outdated law which is out of step with how a modern society thinks about mental illness. We will continue to campaign for reform of the Mental Health Act, and eagerly await the publication of the White Paper to inform a new mental health bill that has long been promised.”