Draft Mental Health Bill published

June 28, 2022

The Government has published a draft Mental Health Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny, to modernise the Mental Health Act for the 21st century.

This draft bill delivers on two Government manifesto commitments:

  • To reform the Mental Health Act.
  • To improve the way that people with a learning disability and autistic people are treated in law.

This draft legislation is intended to give effect to the policy approaches outlined in Sir Simon Wessely’s landmark independent review in 2018. These were subsequently taken forward in the Government’s white paper Reforming the Mental Health Act in 2021.

Government has said that these are once-in-a-generation reforms, aimed to give people greater control over their treatment and help ensure they receive the dignity and respect they deserve.

Mark Winstanley, Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said, ‘The publication of the Mental Health Bill is a cause for celebration. It is the culmination of many years of campaigning to reform crucial legislation that supports and protects people when they are most unwell and often in crisis. Further to the contribution of thousands of people with lived experience and colleagues across the sector, we will finally have a Mental Health Act fit for the 21st century. It will give people more choice, dignity, and involvement in their care. In due course, the Bill will progress its way through Parliament when it will be scrutinised and debated in detail. Our collective challenge will be to ensure it treats everyone fairly, delivers on its commitment to address racial inequalities, and ultimately that it becomes law.’

Visit the Government website to read the draft Bill.

In other news, Councils responding to a Local Government Association (LGA) survey said they do not have confidence that the funding for social care reforms is sufficient.

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