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Friday 23rd March 2018

Amendment to Mental Health Bill

14th June 2007

Changes have been made to proposed new mental health laws after pressure from campaigners.


The new bill was designed to introduce powers in England and Wales to detain people with serious personality disorders even if they have not committed a crime. It amends the 1983 Act.

Ministers have now made concessions including one which sets a two-year target to make sure children are no longer treated in adult wards.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton has also said doctors will be given tight rules over the use of orders to force patients to take medicine.

Campaigners feared the legislation would allow patients under 18 to be held in adult wards but the government has now said the bill will contain a clause saying they will be required to be treated in “age-appropriate settings.�

The bill will also permit victims of mental health offenders to make representations over their proposed release. Ministers have also made concessions over community treatment orders. Ms Winterton said the move “strikes the right balance between patient safeguards and public safety.�

Shadow Health Minister Tim Loughton said the Conservatives welcomed the bill, but felt there were still areas where it remained stigmatising.

Andy Bell, chairman of the Mental Health Alliance which represents patients, charities and health professionals, said their main concerned was that too many people will be put on community treatment orders.

Children’s mental health charity YoungMinds said it was worried that under-18s, who are admitted voluntarily, would not be supported by the independent and informed advice of an advocate.


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