Mental Health: Beds — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:37 pm on 29th July 2014.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 2:37 pm, 29th July 2014

My Lords, if people with a learning disability are detained under the Act, this must be for assessment or treatment of mental illness. The person must satisfy the strict criteria laid down in the 1983 Act. When a learning disability is identified as well as a need for assessment or treatment of a mental disorder, the important thing is that alternatives to the use of the Mental Health Act are considered—for example, use of the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act and whether reasonable adjustments would assist the person with learning disabilities fully to access the assessment and treatment. This is an area we have explicitly covered in the draft code of practice, which is currently out for consultation.

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ROSEMARY CANTWELL
Posted on 30 Jul 2014 8:39 am (Report this annotation)

30 July 2014

Dear Theyworkforyou

I fully appreciate the need for people with learning difficulties to be given alternative means to help them access the care that they themselves wish per the Mnntal Capacity Act 2005 which is supposed to be a tool of empowerment to obtain the person's own control over their own decision-making.

The same is equally true, however, of people who do not have cognitive impairment per se, but may have a so-called mental disorder of the brain per the Mental Health Act and be deemed therefore to have blanket mental incapacity and that this is the green light, so to speak, for ALL decision-making by such a person to be suspect and THEREFORE others MUST determine all decision-making rather than permit and allow the person to exercise any degree of autonomy in anything other than the most mundane of decisions such as what to wear perhaps.

In effect people who are deemed to have a mental disorder of the brain are subject to state-decreed discrimination and it is contrary to the UN Convention of Human Rights which of course the Mental Capacity Act 2005 sought to redress the inequalities of the Mental Health Act 1983.

The Mental Health Act 1983 is totalitarian and totally against Human Rights. And needs to be abolished altogether in my view as being not fit for purpose.