Changes in Guernsey’s Mental Health Law


Just a snippet of an article on the BBC reported that Guernsey’s mental health laws are to be updated and the new legislation is before the Guernsey States (their parliament) at the moment.

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Guernsey’s Mental Health services are currently subject to the 1939 Mental Health Law which were based on their UK equivalent of the time. There were moves to reform and redraft the legislation since 2002.

The current legislation therefore relies on medical practitioners and/or police officers to detain patients in hospital and the new legislation will not only introduce the role of the ASW (Approved Social Worker) – from what I can determine it is an ASW role rather than an AMHP role – but also allow for tribunals and appeals,  however that information is taken from a 2006 document so it might have been changed.

Although judging by how long it has taken to draught the legislation, I can’t imagine any changes would be speedy.

I know very little about the Crown Dependencies but I wonder how much the rights of those who live within their bounds are protected by legislative rights to the same extent as on those who are subject to UK law. I know there was a great deal of reporting about childrens’ services in Guernsey over the last years but it’s worth considering that a lot of the legislative progress that is made in the UK as paradigms shift and awareness of advocacy, self-advocacy and rights in adults services as well.

It may well be a matter to investigate further when I have more time!

In the meantime though, it seems that Guernsey have been on the look out for temporary GSCC-registered AMHPs.

It would be a great job, I think, to go over and see through the introduction of new systems that have been in place in the UK for years. I presume the ‘6 months’ required is to allow Guernsey to train her own AMHP/ASWs.

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5 thoughts on “Changes in Guernsey’s Mental Health Law

  1. Pingback: This Week in Mentalists: Raoul Moat Will Blow You Away Edition « Mental Nurse

  2. It’s funny you should post this because I was only saying this week that I would love to move to Guernsey when I’ve qualified in three years. I have friends over there and visited the island for the first time this year, beautiful place and I could certainly imagine myself living there! I’m off to read the article you have linked to now.

  3. There’s a paradox here in that Jersey, and Guernsey & Associated Islands, are what is left of the Duchy of Normandy that conquered England in 1066, and the Isle of Man similarly is what is left of the Norse Empire that colonised North & West Scotland, and the North & East of Ireland, from the 6C. Yet as regards values, and in particular how the vulnerable are to be treated, their former subjects are in a far better position.

  4. It’s about time Guernseys mental health law was updated! My only question is; why did it take so long?!

  5. Thanks for the comments – honestly, I don’t know a great deal about the legal status in the Crown Dependencies but was genuinely shocked that the legislation had lagged so far behind. It would be interesting at some point, to investigate other ways that the law and ways of working differ from the rest of the UK.
    Ms Moose, good luck in your travel!
    Bristol Michael – that’s exactly what I was curious about
    Lady Chaos – that was the thing that I was wondering as well!

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