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Mental Health Act Review

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What plans they have to review the Mental Health Act 1983. [HL3168]

We are setting up a review of the Mental Health Act 1983. The aim of this review will be to ensure that mental health legislation supports the safe and effective delivery of modern patterns of clinical and social care for people with a mental disorder and to ensure that we achieve a proper balance between individual rights and the requirements of the safety of both the individual and the wider community.As a first step in this process, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health is going to appoint a small team of experts to advise me on the areas of the current legislation which need to be revised or supplemented to support effective, modern mental health services. The group will comprise representatives from the legal profession, professional groups involved in the delivery of mental health services and user/public interests, and it will report to me next spring. We will specifically want their advice to include consideration of possible measures such as compliance orders and community treatment orders.We aim to ensure that the legal framework that we will put in place for the new millennium is appropriate to deliver a full range of services in line with our proposals for a national service framework for mental health services and will provide a prompt and effective legal basis to ensure individuals get supervised care if they fail to comply with their medication or if their condition deteriorates for any other reason.