Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:09 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 5:09 pm, 18th December 2018

The hon. Lady is not quite right about the three-year period, because there are review points, meaning that it involves a twice-possible one-year extension, so she is not quite right about the relationship between that and what happens under the Mental Health Act. However, she makes an important point about the links between the Mental Capacity Act 2005, this Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill and the mental health Bill that we propose to bring forward.

We considered putting the two Bills together, but we did not do that for two reasons. First, it would simply be a big Bill that included two separate regimes, and we would not want the full Mental Health Act powers to be applied across the board, and I think there is a broad consensus behind that. Secondly, the view of Sir Simon Wessely, who ran the review into the Mental Health Act, is that we need to get on with this while taking the time to get the Mental Health Act update right. Combining the two was seriously considered, and I considered it again when I became Health and Social Care Secretary and asked for further advice, but we came to this conclusion, which I hope the hon. Lady will support.