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Mental health services

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether the Care Quality Commission's online map of designated places of safety includes details of every designated place of safety in England.

Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what powers are available to the Care Quality Commission to ensure that Care Commissioning Groups (a) identify and (b) inform police forces and ambulance services of health-based places of safety in their area.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Care Quality Commission's (CQC’s) online map shows all the health-based places of safety known to it at August 2017. It shows places of safety that are located in mental health units on mental health hospital or acute hospital sites, as well as accident and emergency departments in acute hospitals that are designated as places of safety.

The CQC has functions under the Mental Health Act s120 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. It has the power under s120 of the Mental Health Act to keep under review and, where appropriate, investigate the exercise of the powers and the discharge of the duties conferred or imposed by the Mental Health Act so relating to the detention of patients, their reception into guardianship or those liable to be detained under the Act.

When exercising this reviewing function the CQC will take into account whether providers of Mental Health services have had regard to the Mental Health Act Code of Practice. This is statutory guidance for providers and must be taken into account and reasons for not doing so recorded. It is not statutory guidance for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) but is considered beneficial to them in carrying out their duties. The Code of Practice at chapter 16 states that local authorities, NHS Commissioners, hospitals, police forces and ambulance services should have local partnership arrangements in place to deal with people experiencing mental health crisis.

The CQC may consider the local policy arrangements and the effectiveness of the monitoring of these arrangements when conducting a review under s120 of the Mental Health Act. It does not have any specific power to ensure that CCGs identify and inform police forces and ambulance services of health-based places of safety in their area. It is expected that this would be transparent in the joint local policy arrangements. The CQC has no powers to compel CCGs to take any action. There is a power under s48 of the Act to review and/or investigate commissioning but this requires the approval of the Secretary of State for Health

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