Mental Health Act 1983

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:07 pm on 11th July 2017.

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Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:07 pm, 11th July 2017

My hon. Friend makes a very good point and he will be pleased with recent legislation that has reduced that timeframe from 72 to 24 hours. That is a big step forward. Whether an incident happens in a public place or in someone’s home, we are working towards a situation where a mental health professional will be with the police when they attend. That means that there will be no delay similar to that described so vividly by my hon. Friend. I think that some of the examples he gave happened some time ago. As a result of investment, particularly in the work of the crisis care concordat, which has created the framework for police forces to work with mental health services in their community, all kinds of innovative measures have been introduced to ensure that resources, including mental health nurses routinely working with police officers on the beat and specialist back-up to deal with situations similar to those we have heard about this evening, are planned and delivered locally. That is how we want things to happen.

As I have said, we are putting the resources in place. Although these services are working in most of the country, additional investment is being provided where that is not the case. There is also support through the crisis care concordat to fill those gaps and to ensure that everyone everywhere has the same experience.