Book review: The Pocketbook Guide to Mental Health Act Assessments (Second edition)

Should be considered alongside - and not instead - of more robust legal guidance - 3/5


Aimed at approved mental health professionals and others working in mental health services, this updated issue provides a quick and easy guide to mental health act assessments and surrounding legal frameworks.

The pocketbook guide to Mental Health Act assessments

Its contents include an overview of the legal landscape, setting up and managing mental health act assessments and making decisions. Implementing decisions and admission to hospital, and working with compulsion in the community is also covered.

The features that were particularly appealing include the examples from practice, the checklists and the reminder boxes which include a helpful summary. 

The narrative is as free from jargon as possible and where legal terms are used, they are explained and also referenced.

The text could have benefited from expanding on the section about the Mental Capacity Act 2005. However, that is probably a separate book and it is perhaps not possible to do justice to both the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act.

This book is helpful for reference and to aid understanding but should be considered as well as – and not instead – of more robust legal guidance.

Claire Barcham | Open University Press | £23.99 | 196pp | ISBN:9780335262502

Reviewed by Debbie Abrams OBE, director of Beaumond House Community Hospice, Nottinghamshire

This article is for subscribers only