To provide better protection for those who have been diagnosed with a Mental Health Illness and have committed an offence. By protection I mean treatment, care and civil liberties.
Service Users (Patients) who have committed offences and are detained under the Mental Health Act need to be dealt with fairer. The existing system is the Asylum system in disguise. There is no clear understanding as to whether people are detained by a penal system or a medical treatment system. Very often both are applied. Many patients are held in secure units for long periods of time when they are well. Care in the community hasnt been fully achieved and Doctors and medical teams have enormous powers over patients whilst they are under section.
Other aspects of Mental Health Law need to be addressed such as the power of recall for non-compliant patients. On top of the huge costs for running secure hospitals there are further administrative costs incurred for Tribunals, managers meetings and legal aid.
The public need to be educated further about mental illness.
Why is this idea important?
Service Users rights are taken to the edge and very often stepped over. The institutional staff automatically gang up on individuals in order to assert their powers and get compliance and because they are sometimes nervous about bad press. Often complaints raised are put down to a persons ill health. The fear factor was used by the last government as an excuse to extend power and financial support to the industry thus degrading individual rights. Whereas statistically it has no factual reality.
The costs of running low, medium and high secure hospitals are enourmous. On average it costs £45K/annum to detain someone in prison. The cost of detaining someone in a medium secure hospital is around £150K/annum. You will have to look at this area.