Mental Health Act 2007

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The Mental Health Act 2007[1]
Long title An Act to amend the Mental Health Act 1983, the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to mentally disordered persons; to amend section 40 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005; and for connected purposes.
Citation 2007 c 12
Introduced by Lord Warner, the Department of Health and the Home Office.[2]
Royal assent 19 July 2007
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Mental Health Act 2007 (c 12) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It amends the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It applies to people in England and Wales.[3] Most of the Act was implemented on 3 November 2008.[4]

It introduces significant changes which include:

  • Introduction of Supervised Community Treatment, including Community Treatment Orders (CTOs). This new power replaces supervised discharge with a power to return the patient to hospital, where the person may be forcibly medicated, if the medication regime is not being complied with in the community.
  • Redefining professional roles: broadening the range of mental health professionals who can be responsible for the treatment of patients without their consent.
  • Creating the role of approved clinician, which is a registered healthcare professional (social worker, nurse, psychologist or occupational therapist) approved by the appropriate authority to act for purposes of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended).
  • Replacing the role of approved social worker by the role of approved mental health professional; the person fulfilling this role need not be a social worker.[5]
  • Nearest relative: making it possible for some patients to appoint a civil partner as nearest relative.
  • Definition of mental disorder: introduce a new definition of mental disorder throughout the Act, abolishing previous categories
  • Criteria for Involuntary commitment: introduce a requirement that someone cannot be detained for treatment unless appropriate treatment is available and remove the treatability test.
  • Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT): improve patient safeguards by taking an order-making power which will allow the current time limit to be varied and for automatic referral by hospital managers to the MHRT.
  • Introduction of independent mental health advocates (IMHAs) for 'qualifying patients'.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy may not be given to a patient who has capacity to refuse consent to it, and may only be given to an incapacitated patient where it does not conflict with any advance directive, decision of a donee or deputy or decision of the Court of Protection.[4][6]


During the Act's development, there were concerns expressed that the changes proposed by the Mental Health Bill were draconian. As a result, the government was forced in 2006 to abandon their original plans to introduce the Bill outright and had to amend the 1983 Act instead.[7] Despite this concession, the Bill was still defeated a number of times in the House of Lords prior to its receiving Royal Assent.[8]

As of 2010, the Green Party supports a reform of the Mental Health Act in order to remove transgender people from the Psychiatric Disorder Register, which they view as discriminatory.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 59 of this Act.
  2. ^ "Bills and Legislation - Mental Health Bill 2006-07". Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. ^ In Scotland, these matters are covered by the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. In Northern Ireland, by Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986, which has been amended by the The Mental Health (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.
  4. ^ a b Mental Health Act 2007: key documents from Department of Health website. accessed 14 November 2008
  5. ^ "Approved Mental Health Professional replaces Approved Social Worker". 23 December 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Mental Health Act 2007 Accessed November 14 2008
  7. ^ "Mental Health Bill 'to be axed'". BBC News. 2006-03-23. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  8. ^ "Ministers lose mental health vote". BBC News. 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  9. ^ "Greens to launch LGBT general election manifesto". Green Party. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 

External links[edit]