Electroconvulsive Therapy

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to review the use of electroconvulsive therapy.

Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will review the (a) effect and (b) adequacy of the guidance on the use of electro-convulsive therapy on women.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides guidelines for the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) based on the most up to date available clinical evidence. NICE has also produced guidance, ‘Depression in adults: recognition and management’, which includes recommendations on when to use of ECT for complex and severe depression. The Department expects commissioners and providers of services to pay due regard to these guidelines. NICE keeps its guidance under regular review

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is tightly regulated under the Mental Health Act 1983 and practitioners should only administer the treatment when all other options have been exhausted. The Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice provides statutory guidance on the usage of ECT to ensure patients are treated with dignity and respect.

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act made 154 recommendations, including proposing further safeguards on the use of ECT. We have committed to publishing a White Paper which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 and pave the way for reform of the Act.

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