Nurses urged to complete a questionnaire on mental health

RCN is seeking professional views on its response to a review of the Mental Health Act

RCN is seeking professional views on its response to a review of the Mental Health Act

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Mental health and learning disability nurses in England and Wales are being asked to complete a short questionnaire to inform an independent review of the Mental Health Act.

The RCN has designed the survey with others to help it form a response to the government-commissioned review.

Reform of the 1983 legislation was an important part of prime minister Theresa May’s proposals on healthcare in the general election manifesto last year.

The government is concerned about:

  • Rising rates of detention under the act.
  • The disproportionate number of black and minority ethnic backgrounds detained under the act.
  • Whether current processes are out of step with the modern mental health care system.

With these issues in mind, the government commissioned an independent review into how the legislation is used and how practice can improve.


RCN mental health lead Catherine Gamble, the RCN Mental Health Forum and Unite’s Mental Health Nurses Association have devised a questionnaire for nurses to provide the profession’s view.

The survey is intended only for nurses working in mental health and learning disabilities in England and Wales, where the law is applicable.

Responses will remain anonymous and will help to inform a consolidated report to be submitted to the chair of the review, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

RCN mental health forum chair Ed Freshwater said the review could lead to dramatic changes in how mental healthcare is provided and input was needed from all those involved in such care.

'Nurses are the biggest profession in mental healthcare. Service users value the care we provide and rely on the therapeutic relationship we develop as a key component of their care. Other professions rely on our presence and skills to inform and deliver care. So, it is vital that the nursing voice is heard in this review,' he said.

The survey closes at 11pm on Sunday 25 February.

Complete the survey here or email queries to

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