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Mental Capacity Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Lord Rix Lord Rix Crossbench 10:00 pm, 1st February 2005

I say to the noble Lord, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, that this is not a precise science. Many of the people with a profound intellectual multiple disability, who number about a quarter of a million in this country, have parents struggling at home to give them care 24 hours a day. Those people could do with independent advocacy to support them through all the vicissitudes of benefits, and so on.

There are many people outside that range with an intellectual impairment or a learning disability who live virtually—sometimes totally—on their own. They, too, may well need independent advocacy, even though their family lives two blocks away. They may still need independent advocacy to see them through the vicissitudes of life. I honestly believe that it is like asking how long is a piece of string. If you add to that number all the other people with disabilities who have a mental impairment—an incapacity—you are trying to judge figures which I am not certain will ever add up.