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Psychiatric Patients

Volume 131: debated on Thursday 14 April 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward legislation to give full voting rights to all patients in psychiatric hospitals.

No. A voluntary patient in a psychiatric hospital is already entitled to vote in all elections provided he is included in a register of electors. He may register as an elector in respect of any address with which he has been associated apart from that of the psychiatric hospital itself. He may choose to vote in person or to apply to vote by post or by proxy. These provisions do not apply to a patient detained under an enactment relating to persons suffering from mental disorder. We have no plans to change these arrangements.