Alliance policies: Mental Health Tribunals

In the 2004 Draft Bill, the Government proposed to substantially reform the mental health tribunal system by giving all patients the right to appeal to a tribunal and for patients needing longer term treatment beyond 28 days, the right to an automatic hearing within that period. The tribunal would have been given the power to review the need for compulsory powers and approve further treatment.

The Alliance welcomed this as an essential safeguard for the rights of patients, however the Government has decided to retreat from this position and not proceed with their plans to reform the Tribunal system.

We would like to see new mental health legislation introduced which gives the tribunal power to review the need for compulsory powers and approve further treatment. We also believe that extra resources should be made available to ensure that all patients are given a right to a 'speedy' review of their care and treatment by a tribunal and that tribunal membership must include people who have experienced mental illness.

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