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21 May 2018

Mental Health Act independent review: Learning disability and autism

Following a meeting of the Prison Reform Trust’s Care not Custody programme, and subsequent correspondence with Sir Simon Wessely, chair of the Mental Health Act independent review, it was agreed that the Centre for Mental Health, Prison Reform Trust and Together for Mental Health would convene a small expert round table seminar to discuss criminal justice concerns as they relate to the Mental Health Act.

A seminar, chaired by Lord Bradley, was held on 10 January, and a consultation response was submitted on 17 January. Our response can be read by clicking here.

At a follow up meeting with Sir Simon, we were asked if we would repeat the exercise with a specific focus on learning disability and autism, and a second seminar was held on 18 April; our response can be read by clicking here.

This paper provides a summary of main points from our second seminar. It is not designed to provide a single view from attendees (although agreement was frequently reached) or definitive conclusions, rather to provide Sir Simon and the review team with thoughts and priorities for reform and ideas for how reform might be taken forward. This paper should be viewed as a starting point for discussion; attendees and their organisations welcome ongoing dialogue on these, and related issues, as the independent review progresses.

Further information about the independent review, including the interim report published on 1 May, can be found by clicking here.