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Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

56Mental Health Act Commission

(1)The Secretary of State shall under section 11 of the National Health Service Act 1977 establish a special health authority to be known as the Mental Health Act Commission.

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of his powers under section 13 of that Act, the Secretary of State shall direct the Commission to perform on his behalf—

(a)the function of appointing medical practitioners for the purposes of Part VI of this Act and section 53 above and of appointing other persons for the purposes of section 43(2)(a) above; and

(b)the functions of the Secretary of State under sections 47 and 55(1) and (4) above.

(3)The medical practitioners and other persons appointed for the purposes mentioned in subsection (2) (a) above may include members of the Commission.

(4)The Secretary of State may, at the request of or after consultation with the Commission and after consulting such other bodies as appear to him to be concerned, direct the Commission to keep under review the care and treatment, or any aspect of the care and treatment, in hospitals and mental nursing homes of patients who are not liable to be detained under the principal Act or this Act.

(5)For the purpose of any such review as is mentioned in subsection (4) above any person authorised in that behalf by the Commission may at any reasonable time—

(a)visit and interview and, if he is a medical practitioner,

examine in private any patient in a mental nursing home; and

(b)require the production of and inspect any records relating to the treatment of any person who is or has been a patient in a mental nursing home.

(6)The Secretary of State may make such provision as he may with the approval of the Treasury determine for the payment of remuneration, allowances, pensions or gratuities to or in respect of persons exercising functions in relation to any such review as is mentioned in subsection (4) above.

(7)The Commission shall review any decision to withhold a postal packet (or anything contained in it) under subsection (1)(b) or (2) of section 52 above if an application in that behalf is made—

(a)in a case under subsection (1)(b), by the patient; or

(b)in a case under subsection (2), either by the patient or by the person by whom the postal packet was sent;

and any such application shall be made within six months of the receipt by the applicant of the notice referred to in subsection (6) of that section.

(8)On an application under subsection (7) above the Commission may direct that the postal packet which is the subject of the application (or anything contained in it) shall not be withheld and the managers in question shall comply with any such direction.

(9)The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision with respect to the making and determination of applications under subsection (7) above, including provision for the production to the Commission of any postal packet which is the subject of such an application.

(10)The Commission shall in the second year after its establishment and subsequently in every second year publish a report on its activities ; and copies of every such report shall be sent by the Commission to the Secretary of State who shall lay a copy before each House of Parliament.

(11)Paragraph 9 of Schedule 5 to the said Act of 1977 (pay and allowances for chairman and members of health authorities) shall have effect in relation to the authority established pursuant to this section as if references in sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) to the chairman included references to any member and as if sub-paragraphs (4) and (5) were omitted.

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