The Independent has reported that the Mental Health Bill, which was due to be introduced into Parliament before Christmas, has been shelved by the Government. This has not been verified officially but our sources suggest something is afoot.
The draft Bill was heavily criticised by voluntary organisations, health professionals and service users alike as being unworkable and too focused upon enforcing compulsory treatment. The Joint Parliamentary Committee who scrutinised the draft also made fundamental criticisms; however, these were only partially addressed by the Government.
But pressure has reportedly been placed on ministers by a report from the official advisory group set up to look at how the new system would work. The report concluded that far greater resources would be needed to implement the Bill. Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, stated: “You can’t brush aside a report like this. They need a fundamental rethink.”
For a background to the draft Mental Health Bill, click here.