TLAP response to White Paper Reforming the Mental Health Act

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Our views are largely confined to those aspects which relate most to our interest in personalised and community-based forms of support.

TLAP supports the ambition of reforming the Mental Health Act so that people have more control of their care and support in line with the Making it Real I statement that “I feel safe and am supported to understand and manage any risks”. Set out below are some areas which we think should be considered if the ambition and aims of the White Paper are to be realised.

This is an abridged version. The full response can be downloaded below. 

Variable language about the same fundamentals

TLAP welcomes the proposal of the four key principles. These have an excellent fit with the key principles we have been promoting for the past ten years within Adult Social Care and the wider Health community. These same principles are being embedded now at pace within the Heath community through Universal Personalised Care.

Rights, choice and control

Enabling more choice and more control for people has been a fundamental of health and care policy and reform for many years now and this realignment of the Act is overdue.

Recognising an important interface with the Care Act 2014

We think that an opportunity has been missed to highlight the important fundamentals of a transformed care and health system that have already been established in the Care Act:

  • The wellbeing principle
  • The importance of preventing, reducing or delaying needs
  • When intervening focusing on meeting needs rather than providing services
  • Cooperation between partner agencies so that these principles can be realised for people holistically and in ways that make sense to each person individually
  • The co-production of treatment, care, support, services and systems with the people that need these

Co-producing change

We were disappointed to not see the word ‘coproduction’ used much more prominently and consistently in the proposals. Our experience to date has been that professionals have found it difficult to make a shift to routinely working in a coproductive way to make changes with the people the system is there to help. Coproduction is at the heart of TLAP’s approach and we would be well placed to assist in facilitating a more fundamental shift in practice.

Plans, plans and more plans

One particular process that illuminates the thrust of our feedback is that of the development of plans for and with people. Within the proposals there are a range of plans outlined; advanced choice documents, statutory care and treatment plans, community treatment orders, care education and treatment reviews.

We would wish to see all these types of plan developed using well established person-centred planning approaches and tools. One of TLAP’s most popular resources is the personalised care and support planning tool.

How personalisation ensures fairness for all groups

We welcome the recognition that some groups are currently particularly disadvantaged through application of the current Mental Health Act and that this needs to be addressed. We have been investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the Black and Minority Ethnic community and will be publishing our findings very soon. Person-centred approaches and practices will ensure progress is made in addressing these inequalities.


TLAP has a breadth and depth of knowledge and insight that comes from having over 50 partners and ten years of experience of working in co-productive ways across the care and support sector. We have particular expertise in co-production, personalised commissioning, self-directed support, and asset-based approaches.