Last week significant changes in legislation came into force in the UK. The mentally ill now have the same rights to choose their healthcare provider as everyone else.These changes received little media attention.
I wrote about the changes in my blog and you can read it here. I am also a member of my area Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)public health board and I have written to them to ask how this affects the provision of services for the mentally ill. I don't expect a response. They have a tendency to ignore any questions relating to commissioning.
But finally mentally ill patients have a right in law to choose. If you are denied your legal rights then take action. At the very least, write to your MP. My anorexia deteriorated significantly because i was forced to accept the services offered me. I was told to take it or leave it. Then, I had no right to choose. But today you all have a choice. Why should you wait a year to see a generic NHS counsellor when you could see one of your choice the following day.
However, I don't see the transition to patient choice being easy. I suspect health authorities will vigorously resist these changes. But finally the community has positive rights enshrined in sovereign law. In the UK sovereign law supersedes all other local rules and bylaws etc. And if you do need to take legal advice, all cases involving mental illness carry the full right to legal aid.
There are interesting times ahead. This is the link to my blog and the post about this.