On 1st May the Department of Health published its interim report on the independent review of the Mental Health Act.

There is recognition in the report of the important safeguard which independent advocacy provides for people covered by the Mental Health Act. However, the report also sets out concerns about a lack of awareness about the right to advocacy and confusion about how the different advocacy services intersect. In particular there are concerns that people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities and older people are experiencing greater problems accessing IMHAs.

The report also sets out wider concerns about inadequate funding for advocacy which has resulted in people not receiving a full service.

POhWER welcomes the emphasis in the report on exploring opportunities to extend and protect the role that advocates can play and the commitment to exploring how different advocacy frameworks can be streamlined to introduce a simpler and more consistent approach.

The review is ongoing and the report sets out a number of issues including relating to advocacy which are for further consideration.

A summary of the review's work so far as well as Easy Read and British Sign Language versions are available here: