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Mental Disorder: Autism and Learning Disabilities - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:20 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Hollins Baroness Hollins Crossbench 3:20 pm, 5th November 2019

My Lords, I declare two interests. First, I had an editorial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry last week, proposing that learning disability and autism should be removed from the Mental Health Act. Secondly, I have just agreed to chair a panel to review the cases of people with learning disability and/or autism who are in segregated care. Does the Minister agree with the treatability criterion in the Act, particularly with respect to the question of removing learning disability and autism from it? In other words, does she agree that, in detaining somebody in hospital under the Act, the excuse of doing so to improve—or with the intention to improve—their behaviour, even though their behaviour may be a reaction to inadequate social care, is an inadequate reason for detention under legislation?