Mental Health Alliance welcomes pledge of prelegislative scrutiny for new Mental Health Bill

26 November 2003

The Mental Health Alliance today (November 26) welcomes the government’s decision to revise its plans to reform the Mental Health Act and subject them to pre-legislative scrutiny in Parliament.

Mental Health Alliance chair Paul Farmer said: "The decision is an important sign that ministers have listened to the Mental Health Alliance members, service users and carers who have strong concerns about the current draft Mental Health Bill.

"We hope this will be reflected in the new draft Bill when it is published. However, we must wait until we see if the new Bill contains significant revisions capable of achieving a broad consensus."

Today’s announcement paves the way for a consensual approach to legislation that affects the lives of many thousands of citizens.

Mr Farmer added: "The Alliance looks forward to working with the Government and with Parliament to produce a twenty-first century Mental Health Bill that balances the rights of individuals with concerns about public safety.

"We are concerned, however, that the Government has not announced plans to press ahead with the Mental Incapacity Bill. By establishing the concept of capacity in law, this Bill is an important foundation for modern mental health legislation."

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