2020 was the year of Zoom calls, Teams meetings and "You're still on mute!" became its catchphrase. Tech companies saw a huge surge in people using their video conferencing platforms, which has revolutionised the way many people work. Within the medical profession, we saw huge numbers of doctors and surgeons forced to consult with patients over telephone or video, something which many insurers had to respond to.
It is often seen as a "taboo" subject, but in 2020 mental health services within the UK saw a significant increase in cases and the impact of lockdowns, remote working and the general stresses Covid-19 brought were significant causes. Mental health comes in many forms and, as someone who has experienced one's fair share of mental health, it can sometimes be difficult to pick up on, even when you're standing right in front of the person.
So, when NHS England issued guidance that doctors may lawfully use video assessments during the pandemic to decide whether patients should be detained in hospital under S163 of the Mental Health Act, it raised concerns and ultimately ended up in the High Court.
Guidance from NHS England that doctors may lawfully use video assessments during the pandemic to decide whether patients should be detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act was wrong