Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [HL] - Commons Amendments

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 4:30 pm, 26th February 2019

My Lords, I shall speak briefly to Amendment 41A, but first I congratulate the Minister on moving such an enormous group with such coherence. She deserves at least a drink of water, if not a cup of tea. I tabled this small and modest amendment for the sake of completeness. During the passage of the Bill, the noble Lord, Lord O’Shaughnessy, gave us undertakings and assured us that issues to do with independent hospitals would be addressed in the Commons. I congratulate the Government on the fact that indeed they have been. In November, the noble Lord said:

“The Government believe that independent hospitals would benefit from AMCP involvement, and therefore our intention is to bring forward an amendment, or amendments, as required, in the Commons to deal with this issue and make sure that there is such a role for the AMCP in all deprivation of liberty cases”.—[Official Report, 21/11/18; col. 279.]

In some ways the Minister has already partly addressed my concern, which is about the fact that in many independent hospitals most of the patients will be there because of the local authority or the CCG. So the clarification that I am seeking is on whether independence is truly protected when an AMCP is appointed under those circumstances. This amendment seeks to clarify that. The Minister has gone some way towards clarifying that, but I think I need to press her a little on whether that is the case. I declare an interest as a member of a CCG that commissions many of these services. When we are looking at commissioning an independent hospital, should we be the body that also takes the decision about the appointment of an AMCP?