AMENDMENTS TO MENTAL HEALTH LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS PRESSURES and UPDATED GUIDANCE IN RESPECT OF PERSONALLY SEEN AND PERSONALLY EXAMINED IN THE MENTAL HEALTH ORDER

AMENDMENTS TO MENTAL HEALTH LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS PRESSURES

**please ensure you also read the circular below regarding ‘personally seen’ and ‘personally examined’ **

  1. The purpose of this circular is to make you aware of the reinstatement of temporary emergency provisions amending some aspects of mental health legislation and guidance in response to staffing pressures as a result of Covid- 19.
  2. These measures were initially introduced in March and April 2020, but were suspended when the Covid-19 related pressures declined.
  3. The modifications will come into force on 18 January 2021 and will remain in force until further notice. It is intended that the provisions will end when the pressures resulting from Covid-19 are reduced.
  4. It is very important to note that these measures are, once again, only temporary and are not permanent.
  5. This guidance notes the reintroduction of amendments to mental health legislation and guidance in the following areas:
    1. amendments to Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (MHO) through subordinate legislation in respect of second opinions;
    2. amendments to the MHO through the Coronavirus Act; and
  6. amendment to guidance in respect of personally seen and RQIA

    reporting.