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Schedule to be inserted as Schedule AA1 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 10:45 am, 22nd January 2019

I understand that the amendments are designed to address the interface between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act, and to keep that interface exactly the same as it is now. I think this is the point to say that this is not the course we wanted the Bill to take. Amendment 52, tabled in my name and to be discussed later, would delay the implementation of the Bill until the Government have given proper thought to how that interface ought to work. We will not oppose amendments 11 to 13, because I can see that they are intended as technical, drafting amendments and we will treat them as such, but I think this is a missed opportunity.

There is a considerable grey area between the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act, and in his recent review, Sir Simon Wessely made some valuable recommendations on how that divide could be clarified. At this stage, the Government have not tabled amendments to enact those recommendations, but through these amendments they will instead maintain a deficient set of arrangements. I fall back on what I have said before: I call on the Government to pause the Bill until they have given proper consideration to the interface between the two Acts and can produce a Bill that will not require near-immediate amendment and generate a lot of court cases, as we think this Bill will do.