RQIA Independent Review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health ...

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RQIA Independent Review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health ...

1.3 Relevant legislation

The following legislation is used to provide a backdrop to the review and in

some instances elements of the legislation have been used as part of the

assessment framework. The Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order (1986)

(hereafter, the Mental Health Order) and The Children (Northern Ireland)

Order (1995) (hereafter, the Children Order) provided the underpinning

legislation throughout the review. Recognition of the rights of the child under

the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) also

provided the context of a rights based approach for the RQIA's review of

CAMHS in Northern Ireland.

The Children Order (1995) is the primary legislation governing the care,

upbringing and protection of children, including children with a disability, in

Northern Ireland. It affects all those who work with and care for children,

whether parents, paid carers or volunteers. It has established a basis for

compulsory care and supervision, whilst introducing new procedures for

supporting and protecting children within the family. The Children Order

(1995) ensures that the needs and welfare of the child are paramount.

The Mental Health Order (NI) 1986 is the primary legislation for the care

and treatment of individuals suffering from a mental health disorder. In the

majority of cases children and young people referred to CAMHS are not

suffering from severe mental disorder which requires their detention and

treatment under the Mental Health Order. However, in some cases, it forms

a vital part of the effective treatment and care of children and young people

with acute mental disorder. Article 118 (4) of the Mental Health Order

includes a requirement that each HSC Board is expected to maintain a

register of all persons under 18 years, who are receiving treatment for a

mental illness as inpatients. In addition, a copy of this register must be sent

to the Mental Health Commission, whose functions have now been

transferred to RQIA.

The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

obliges the United Kingdom’s (UK) government to ensure that the human

rights of a child are paramount, by upholding a set of principles and

standards in respect of all aspects of children's lives.

Article 24 of the UNCRC requires the UK government to ensure that all

children have the right to the highest standard of health and medical care

attainable and to strive to ensure that no child is deprived of their right of

access to such health care services.

In addition, Article 37 (c) of the UNCRC states: "Every child deprived of

liberty, shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's

best interest not to do so".

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