Consultation responses give us the opportunity to share the latest psychological evidence with policy makers, shape their responses and support the development of well-informed policies.

Open consultations

Call for Evidence- Draft Mental Health Bill

The BPS will be responding to the Joint Committee of MPs and Lords call for evidence on the Draft Mental Health Bill, which is intended to reform the Mental Health Act.

We would really welcome your views and any supporting evidence you may have. Please see a list of areas the committee are interested in below (and note that you are not required to comment on all of the questions to send us evidence).

  • How the changes made by the draft Bill will work in practice, particularly alongside other pieces of legislation including the Mental Capacity Act? Might there be unintended consequences and, if so, how should those risks be mitigated?
  • To what extent is the approach of amending the existing Mental Health Act the right one? What are the advantages and disadvantages of approaches taken elsewhere in the UK?
  • Does the draft Bill strike the right balance between increasing patient autonomy and ensuring the safety of patients and others? How is that balance likely to be applied in practice?
  • How far does the draft Bill deliver on the principles set out in the 2018 Independent Review? Does it reflect developments since? Is the Government right not to include the principles in the draft Bill?
  • To what extent will the draft Bill reduce inequalities in people’s experiences of the Mental Health Act, especially those experienced by ethnic minority communities and in particular of black African and Caribbean heritage? What more could it do?
  • What more could the draft Bill do to reduce the impact of financial inequalities in people's experiences of the Mental Health Act?
  • What are your views on the changes to how the Act applies to autistic people and those with learning disabilities?
  • To what extent will the draft Bill achieve its aims of reducing detention, avoiding detention in inappropriate settings and reducing the number of Community Treatment Orders?
  • What do you think the impact of the proposals will be on the workforce within community mental health services and multidisciplinary working practices both in inpatient and community services?
  • What changes and additional support do you think will be needed to help professionals and the third sector implement the proposals effectively? Will additional staffing and resources be required?
  • How far will the draft Bill allow patients to have a greater say in their care, with access to appropriate support and avenues for appeal?
  • What do you think of the proposed replacement of “nearest relative” with “nominated persons”? Do the proposals provide appropriate support for patients, families and nominated people?
  • To what extent is the Government right in the way it has approached people taking advance decisions about their care?
  • What impact will the draft Bill have on children, young people and their families? Does it take sufficient account of the existing legal framework covering children and young people?
  • To what extent are the proposals to allow for conditional discharge that amounts to a deprivation of liberty workable and lawful?
  • What are your views on the proposed changes in the draft Bill concerning those who encounter the Mental Health Act through the criminal justice system? Will they see a change in the number of people being treated in those settings?
  • Are there any additions you would like to see to the draft Bill?

Your submissions will not only feed into our response to the committee, they will inform our position as we seek opportunities for parliamentary engagement as the Bill progresses

Our team have already begun preliminary engagement with third party and parliamentary stakeholders on the Bill.

Please send any contributions to [email protected] by 12pm on Friday 26th August as this will allow our team to collate responses and obtain internal BPS review and sign-off.

Do also feel free to pass this call for evidence on to colleagues who you believe this would be of interest to.

If you have any further questions do not hesitate to get in touch.

Draft HIV action plan for Wales 2022-2022

The Welsh Government has opened a consultation into their HIV Action Plan.

This Plan aims to improve quality of life of those living with HIV and tackle stigma associated with the virus.

The BPS will be responding to this consultation and would be grateful to hear your views, contributions and expertise of members.

We are particularly keen on evidence-led contributions. Please contact  [email protected] for further details.

Physical intervention in school’s guidance consultation– share your views

The Scottish Government has opened a consultation on the guidance on physical intervention in schools.

The consultation is in response to the Physical Intervention Working Group’s ‘Included, engaged and involved part 3: A relationship and rights based approach to physical intervention in Scottish schools draft guidance’.

The draft guidance aims to minimise the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. It includes new definitions, human rights-based safeguards and recording, reporting and monitoring expectations. The draft guidance is focussed on protecting children and young people from harm and promoting rights-based practice in Scottish schools.

The consultation consists of eight questions:

  1.  Do you think the guidance is easy to understand?
  2. The guidance includes definitions of practices in the ‘physical intervention’ section (pages 14-25). Please review these. Are these clear
  3. In addition to the safeguards (protections) to ensure lawful practice and protect the wellbeing of children and young people and staff listed in the ‘physical intervention’ section (pages 14-25), are there any other safeguards (protections) that should be included?
  4. In addition to the types of restraint in the ‘physical intervention’ section (pages 16-25), are there any other restraints used in schools that should be included in the guidance?
  5. Are there any changes you would make to the recording, monitoring and reporting advice on pages 28 to 31?
  6. Are there any changes you would make to the roles and responsibilities summary on page 47?
  7. Is there anything you would add to help people use this guidance in schools?
  8. Are there any other changes you would make to the guidance?

The BPS will be responding to this inquiry and we would be grateful to hear the views, contributions and expertise of members. We are particularly keen on evidence-led contributions.

Please contact [email protected] with your responses by Monday 3 October 2022.

Call for evidence: Police requests for third party material

The Home Office is currently undertaking a consultation exploring issues around police requests for personal records such as health, education and social service records (known as third party material) during criminal investigations. They would like to hear from anyone who has experience of requesting or fulfilling requests for this kind of information.

Read the full details of the consultation here.

Please find attached the questions that may be of relevance to the BPS (please note, not all of these questions, which cover sections 2 and 3, will be relevant to you directly, so please only answer within your field of expertise).

If there are any responses you would like to contribute, please send them over, with supporting evidence, to [email protected] before the end of the day on Thursday 04 August.

The BPS has previously worked in collaboration with the BMA and BACP on securing amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which in its initial form would have allowed for a mandatory obligation for healthcare workers to share confidential information about patients with criminal justice bodies. This provision was subsequently removed from that Bill.

Practice Board consultation - Practice Briefing for Psychological Interventions to Help Male Adults

The society publishes guidance, reports and position papers on areas of psychological education, research, professional practice and ethics.

These documents are prepared on the basis of the expert contributions of our members and members are consulted with on the content of these documents prior to their publication.

Read the full briefing paper.

Please get involved and have your say

The society is reliant upon the expert psychological expertise of our members in order to provide evidence based guidelines.

If you are interested in contributing to this guideline, please download a copy of the response form and submit the complete form to [email protected].

The deadline for commenting is the end of play on Friday 23 September.

Why do we respond to consultations?

The Government, Parliament, regulators and third party organisations frequently open consultations to seek the views and expert insights of stakeholders to inform decision making as well as policy and legislation design.

Consultations allow entities to understand more about the impact of certain decisions, and can also reveal the sentiment of stakeholders towards such decisions and assist entities in identifying who those stakeholders are. The purpose of consultations is to improve the quality of decision making and policies and ensure that the interests of affected parties are not overlooked.

The Society responds to consultations to ensure that psychology is considered as part of these processes wherever possible. We seek the views of our members and strive to ensure that we develop responses to consultations that best represent the expertise that psychology has to offer.

The input from members to these responses is invaluable as it supports the Society in its goal of ensuring that psychology and the perspectives that psychologists have to offer is embedded within laws, guidelines, policies, and decisions.

View our consultations policy to find out more about how to contact the team, how we plan and respond to consultations, and read our guidelines for contributors. Or if you wish to learn more about the consultations process, please contact [email protected].

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Read our past consultation responses