Mental health

“Advises NHS trusts on the full spectrum of mental health law issues. Regularly instructed in Court of Protection and human rights-related matters.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014
Our team of experienced mental health law specialists advise and act for individuals and health and social care organisations on a wide variety of mental health issues.

Main areas of practice

Blake Morgan’s mental health experts have a national reputation for their expertise including Professor Richard Jones, the author of the leading legal texts in this area – the Mental Health Act Manual and the Mental Capacity Act Manual. Richard is ranked as the only star individual in Chambers and Partners 2014 for UK-Healthcare: Mental Health.

We provide advice to clients across the health and care sector on the full spectrum of mental health law issues. Our lawyers have particular experience in the following areas:

  • Advising on mental capacity, confidentiality and human rights issues
  • Advising health bodies on the lawfulness of the detention of patients
  • Assisting clinicians with consent to treatment issues
  • Representing health bodies before the First Tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care chamber and Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales
  • Defending judicial review applications in the High Court.
  • Advising on the use of guardianship
  • Responding to queries from Mental Health Act Administrators on the legality of statutory documentation.

See Mental Capacity for a full list of services we provide in mental capacity law, including Court of Protection and Powers of Attorney.

We offer clients a 24/7 help-line service providing urgent legal advice to health bodies, mental health providers and local authorities on mental health  and mental capacity issues.

We provide training to staff at all levels on the application of the Mental Health and Mental Capacity Acts. See our Training pages for further information.

We also have extensive experience of advising on safeguarding and information sharing issues.

Clients

Examples of clients for whom our mental health legal specialists have advised and acted include:

Department of Health Care homes
NHS England Housing providers
Acute and Foundation Trusts Mental Health Charities
Clinical commissioning groups Private individuals and their families
CSUs and Social Enterprises contracting with the NHS Health and social care regulators

Significant experience

Examples of how our experts in mental health law have helped clients include:

  • Advising on whether an Approved Mental Health Professional should obtain a warrant from a magistrate under s.135 of the Mental Health Act if the assistance of the police was required at a mental health assessment. An analysis of the s.135 and of police powers under both statute and common law was provided in order to enable the client to enter into meaningful negotiations with the police.
  • Advice on the consequences of a psychiatrist inadvertently losing his Approved Clinician status under the Mental Health Act 1983 and on detained patients not having an allocated Responsible Clinician.
  • Advising on internal Protection of Vulnerable Adults processes and their operation in individual cases, including advising on an NHS clients' policy as to patient choice and its management of delayed discharge. This led to re-appraisal of the draft policy and an acknowledgement that change was needed to link into the approach to Mental Capacity Act 2005 implementation.

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Blake Morgan success in landmark mental health appeal

News

Blake Morgan, acting on behalf of the Welsh Ministers, has successfully appealed a decision of the Upper Tribunal (on appeal from the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales) in the matter of Re PJ.

Employers are urged to put workplace stress high on the agenda

Press Release

Employers are being urged to mark today’s National Stress Awareness Day by making sure they are tackling workplace stress among staff.

Employers must encourage staff to socialise to avoid mental health problems at work

Press Release

Businesses need to do more to encourage staff to put phones down, socialise together and make time for friends and family to help avoid mental health problems in the workplace.

Greater clarity on the acid test in ICU and other hospital settings?

Defining whether an individual is a risk of a deprivation of their liberty continues to create significant difficulties across the health and care sector.

When is a patient's consent to treatment informed?

In a landmark decision set out in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board (2015) , the Supreme Court expressed the view that doctors have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure patients are informed about any risks involved in the recommended treatments.

Greater clarity on the acid test in ICU and other hospital settings

The application of the acid test to patients who are being treated for physical disorders in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and other hospital settings.

Treating mental health with mindfulness

Eve Piffaretti discusses why there is a strong signal for practitioners to consider mindfulness as an alternative approach to early intervention to prevent and combat mental ill-health.

How should health professionals discharge their duty of care in ensuring patients consent to treatment is informed?

Consent law update - the case of Montgomery – v – Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11 (" Montgomery") (judgment handed down on 11 March 2015).