The UK government is yet to consider and respond to the independent review of the Mental Health Act's recommendations and decide upon implementation.
The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 was given Royal Assent on November 1, 2018. This act makes provision about the oversight and management of the appropriate use of force concerning people in mental health units. It makes provision for police officers' usage of body cameras in duties with people in mental health units and connected purposes.
This is also known as Seni's Law after Olaseni Lewis, who died after being restrained by police officers' mental health ward. Olaseni's parents Aji and Conrad Lewis, alongside other campaigners, have signed a letter to the mental health minister, Nadine Dorries, calling for the Government to set a commencement date for the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018. The late young black man's parents ask why the Government has not yet enacted a law passed in his name almost two years ago.
In October 2017, the then Prime Minister Theresa May vowed a review of the Mental Health Act to address rising detentions and racial disparity in the act's use. May asked Professor Sir Simon Wessely to chair a full and independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983. In 2018, the final report was published, setting out the review's recommendations to the UK Government. The changes proposed by the review set out to provide much higher legal weight to people's wishes and clear justification for using compulsory powers. It addresses the need to modernize services as they modernize laws.
The Government pledged to introduce legislation that would implement two of the review's recommendations and making a formal response in 2019. May also confirmed that the Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Justice would publish a White Paper before the end of 2019 in response to the review. The UK Government is yet to respond and set out plans.