Mental Health Commission to use ‘all powers necessary’ to enforce law

Mental Health Commission to use 'all powers necessary' to enforce law

John Saunders

The Mental Health Commission has said it will use “all powers necessary” to ensure compliance with the law, following a year-long period of transformation.

The Commission yesterday launched its 2019-2022 Strategy, Protecting People’s Rights, charting a four-year plan to realise its new vision of an Ireland with the highest quality mental health and decision support services underpinned by a person’s human rights.

It includes plans for the full roll-out of the “much-needed” Decision Support Service (DSS), established under part 9 of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015.

Dublin solicitor Áine Flynn, formerly of KOD Lyons, was appointed as the inaugural director of the DSS in late 2017.

Chairman John Saunders said the Commission had been undertaking a process of transformation since early 2018, which has included the development of a new vision, a mission statement, and a comprehensive and wide-ranging consultation process that ultimately led to the new strategic plan.

He said: “The strategy consultation clearly evidenced a desire for the commission to promote high standards and work with and support all stakeholders who wish to create improvement. However, where standards are not acceptable and human rights are not upheld, people are clear that the Commission should intervene, using all powers necessary.

“Individual’s human rights will be at the heart of our work and functions over the next four years. It will be the common thread through all our activities, policies, regulations, codes of practice and standards. We will work with Government to strengthen the regulatory infrastructure, which vindicates people’s rights, and we will ensure compliance with the law through proportionate risk-based regulation, monitoring and supports. The present Commission is adopting a low tolerance level of non-compliance.”

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