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Draft Mental Health Bill

Volume 717: debated on Monday 27 June 2022

I have published the draft Mental Health Bill today for pre-legislative scrutiny and delivered an oral statement to the house.

The draft Bill will enable the Government to deliver on two manifesto commitments:

to ensure that patients suffering from mental health conditions have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve; and,

to make it easier for people with learning disabilities and autism to be discharged from hospital

It contains provisions to increase the autonomy and dignity of people who need inpatient support for their mental health, including people subject to the criminal justice system. These reforms are intended to benefit everyone who may be subject to the Mental Health Act, and to address the racial disparities associated with its use.

The draft Bill is also intended to limit the extent to which people with learning disability and autistic people may be made subject to the Mental Health Act, while ensuring adequate community care and support is available for people with these conditions.

The draft Bill heralds a major step change in the rights available to people who may be made subject to the Act. Furthermore, they represent a significant step forward in the Government’s work to respond to the recommendations made by Sir Simon Wessely’s independent review of the Act.

The draft Bill will cover England and Wales.

We look forward to working openly with the committee to ensure that this important Bill is developed with input from stakeholders and all interested parties. This is a once in a generation chance to develop the Mental Health Act to ensure the autonomy and dignity of people who need inpatient support for their mental health.

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