Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home -- so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person... Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.' Eleanor Roosevelt, 1958

The Small Places has moved...

The Small Places has moved to a new home here, including all the old posts. Any posts after 6th March 2014 will appear on the new website, but old posts are preserved here so that URLs linking here continue to work. Please check out the new site.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Holiday reading

I'm drowning under a mountain of introductory chapter drafts, but if you're looking for a good read you couldn't go far wrong with the latest issue of the European Human Rights Law Review.  I do hate recommending paywalled journal articles on this blog, as the frustrations of not being able to read academic papers when I was working in care aren't long behind me, but if you can get your mits on Issue 6 of 2011 there's a lot of interesting reading from a legal capacity and disability rights perspective:

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Monitoring detention under the MHA and the MCA

Today the CQC published their latest annual report on the Mental Health Act (MHA). As with their last report, it gives a detailed whole-system analysis of the functioning of the MHA, with particular attention to the experiences of detained patients, and how effectively their rights are being protected. In my (admittedly quite idiosyncratic) view, the CQC’s monitoring of the MHA is one of its greatest strengths. It is no exaggeration to say that its work in the field of detention monitoring for mental health is world leading, and reflects the considerable experience, knowledge and independence of the MHA commissioners at the CQC. I wanted to use this post to explore what exactly makes the CQC so strong in this field, and what we could usefully learn from this to apply to how the deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) are monitored. One thing that will, I hope, become clear in this piece is that the CQC face a considerably greater challenge in monitoring the DoLS than the MHA. A lot of the infrastructure that CQC rely upon in their monitoring role simply isn’t there (yet) for DoLS to enable a whole-system analysis. To put this in perspective, the MHA is in its third decade, the DoLS are tottering into their third year, and so things may well change in the future.