Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:32 am on 3rd November 2005.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children) 11:32 am, 3rd November 2005

I have raised with the Leader of the House on several occasions the subject of the elusive draft Mental Health Bill. It remains as elusive as ever, yet last week The Guardian produced a leaked report of the findings of the Government's code of practice working party, which completely dished large parts of that Bill. Will he confirm whether the rumours that the whole Bill might have been ditched are true, and that the Government have realised that they do not want to open up another front in the onslaught on civil liberties that the Bill represented? If not, will we see the Bill this side of Christmas? In any case, will he at last give the House an opportunity to debate the subject of mental health, which has not once been debated in Government time since 1997?


Posted on 5 Nov 2005 5:27 pm (Report this annotation)

Thank you Tim for raising such an important issue...I attended the Mental Health Today conference on Wednesday...I asked this very question of the debate panel which was chaired by David Brindle who wrote the article you refer to...Sadly Rosie Winterton could not attend instead she was replaced by an MP who was not very well versed on the subject of Emotional Well-being...I asked twice whether the bill had been shelved only Lord Victor Adebowale answered and twice he said it had not been shelved...We need to clarify which information is correct...I would very much like to know who actually sits on the Code of Practice Working Party Group?...You no doubt will be aware that MP's are the only people to be treated differently if they are detained...section 141 is used...which maybe why some MP's seem to be so disinterested as it does not affect them directly...I also strongly agree that the subject of Mental Health should not only be discussed in the House immediately...but regularly as this is supposed to be one of the top 3 priorities of this government and it affects ¼ of the population of this country at least 14.7 million people which we actually know about!!...We are also failing to ask the police how this bill will affect they will be one of the key players in it's implementation

136 sections:

How many sections occur in this country every week?
How many more do the Police anticipate when the new Mental Health Bill is put into practice?
Who is being sectioned where are the figures for Age groups? Children, Adults, Older People. Gender? Race?
Where are the places of safety in this country based and are they manned 24/7?
How many Health Authorities use Police Cells as places of safety?
How many people die in custody on 136 sections?
Where are people transferred to, Prison? Psychiatric Ward? Or released?
What are the Police’s feelings about the effect on their workload when the new Bill is introduced, there must be projection figures?
Do the police have enough manpower to sustain it?
How many people suffer physical injuries whilst being 136 sectioned?
How long are people detained in police custody within the 72-hour period?
How many are detained for longer than 72 hours due to psychiatric bed shortages?
How many people are left in the community due to shortage’s of beds, manpower, etc and our these figures (waiting lists) known?
What are the top 4 reasons for a person being in such a state that they need to be sectioned? (Domestic violence victim, breakdown, bereavement)
Is there greater cluster’s of sectioning in certain areas and why should this be?
Are the criteria for sectioning in this country the same from county to county?
If not who decides what criteria are implemented?
Are any 136 sections carried out by the private sector/independent sector?
What training have they received on Mental Health Issues?

We ask these questions, as an understanding of these issue’s is crucial.
Service User’s and the Public need to be made aware of the 136 sectioning powers, and that anybody can have these measures used against them.