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Mental Health Services

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what representations the Government has received on the likely effects of implementing the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2007 on independent mental health advocacy six months after the introduction of community treatment orders; (201872)

(2) when plans for the commissioning and implementation of mental health advocacy services under the Mental Health Act 2007 will be published;

(3) when training for mental health advocates under the Mental Health Act 2007 will begin; and what criteria will be used to select advocates.

The Mental Health Alliance has asked the Department to consider placing together the implementation dates for the Mental Health Act 2007, and independent mental health advocacy provision to provide additional safeguards, particularly for patients discharged from hospital under supervised community treatment.

We aim to publish guidance on commissioning and implementing independent mental health advocacy later this year.

National training materials are currently being developed and tested. We aim to make these available for organisations to start training later this year. Local commissioners are responsible for contracting with organisations to provide independent mental health advocacy services. Departmental guidance for commissioners will provide guidance on service specifications and standards.