Almost two years ago, a law was passed in the name young black guy, Olaseni Lewis, who died after being restrained in a mental health hospital.
Aji and Conrad Lewis, the parents of the young man, have questioned why the government has not yet enacted the law. Along with other campaigners, they signed a letter to the mental health minister, Nadine Dorries.
The letter called for the government to set a commencement date for the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018. The Labour MP Steve Reed, introduced the law as a private member`s bill and the act was named Seni`s law after the young black guy, Olaseni.
An inquest revealed that Olaseni, who died at the age of 23 in 2010, had been subjected to a “disproportionate and unreasonable” restraint at Bethlem Royal Hospital in London which involved eleven police officers.
Seni`s law requires mental healthcare providers to keep records of the use of force, and to train staff in de-escalation techniques in order to avoid the use of restraint.
Olaseni`s mother said at the time the law was passed: “It took us years of struggle to find out what happened to Seni: the failures at multiple levels amongst the management and staff at Bethlem Royal hospital, where, instead of looking after him, they called the police to deal with him.
“We welcome the law in his memory, in the hope that it proves to be a lasting legacy in his name, so that no other family has to suffer as we have suffered.”
Reed said that the legislation he had introduced to tackle the dangerous restraint has not come into force. The MP has urged ministers to bring Seni`s law into force at the earliest convenience.
As part of NHS longterm plan, a minimum of £2.3 billion of extra investment must be made each year by 2023/24 which will help expand mental health services more quickly.