Alliance members hail first Lords vote to amend the Mental Health Bill

11 January 2007

Members of the Mental Health Alliance congratulated the House of Lords on its first amendment to a flawed and disappointing Mental Health Bill.

In its second day in Committee on Wednesday, the House of Lords voted to amend the Bill to stop people who have their full decision-making abilities and have committed no offence, from being sectioned.

Welcoming the vote to loosen needless powers of compulsion in the treatment of mentally ill patients, Alliance vice-chair Rowena Daw said:

"The House of Lords has voted to end a major inequality for people with a mental illness. People with physical illnesses cannot be forced to take medical treatment if they have their full decision-making ability, and nor should those with a mental illness.

"We are heartened by the diligent and serious consideration the House of Lords is giving to this Bill. The Bill is in need of a complete overhaul. We hope that today’s vote marks the start of that process in Parliament."