MHA statement on Queen’s Speech

23 November 2004

Paul Farmer, chair of the Mental Health Alliance said today:

"The inclusion of the draft Mental Health Bill in the Queen’s Speech shows the importance of everyone who works in, uses or has any involvement in mental health services to keep working for a better piece of legislation over the next year.

"The Mental Health Alliance and its member organisations continue to work with government and with the scrutiny committee on the draft Bill to put forward the concerns of service users, carers, professionals and charities and to set out what we believe to be a policy fit for the twenty-first century.

"We do need a new Mental Health Act: one that respects the human rights service users and their families, and one that creates a modern legal framework for mental health care in England and Wales. But the Bill currently being discussed falls well short of such a framework.

"The next year could be a turning point for mental health care. We must all work together to make sure that the next Mental Health Act is a good one, that it has the support of staff, service users and carers and that it is both practical and fair."

Notes to Editors