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Bloomsburry Family law

Practice area

The elderly client and the Mental Health Act

For many people and their families, the difficulties of advancing age are compounded by the onset of mental health problems of one sort or another. Dementia is only one such condition; severe depression is also common, which is hardly surprising at a time of life when the rate of change, loss and physical pain is increasing. However, if the result is that the person concerned neglects his or her own needs, or puts his or her health or safety at risk in other ways, the psychiatric services may consider statutory involvement

The honest choice

In 1991//92 we were members of what was known as, The Shortfall Monitoring Group, this comprised of interested bodies including Age Concern, Care home proprietors and social services monitoring the effect and consequences of the level of income support being inadequate to fund the fees of residential accommodation. On the one hand it aimed to provide support for individuals and their families, who were under pressure to top up fees, facing the threat of eviction, downgrading of accommodation or use of personal allowances and remaining capital to fund fees. On the other hand it monitored the closure of care homes forced out of business by accommodating elderly people at below market rates

Complaints and the Mental Health Act Commission

Any complaints arising out of the exercise for the power to detain, manage and control, and the duty to treat are complaints in respect of which the [Mental Health Act Commission] has jurisdiction. It seems to me that management, control and treatment all form part of the package of compulsion which is the essence of Section 3 detention which it is the duty of the Secretary of State to keep under review under section 120(1) of the [Mental Health] Act. R v Mental Health Act Commission ex p Smith1

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