Extent, commencement and short title

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North 2:30 pm, 22nd January 2019

I think the imperative is the other way around. It is important for us to have the understanding of what the Government are proposing and their attitude to the review, so that we can understand how the legislation will work and how the two Acts will work together.

I believe the Government would be reckless to plough ahead with implementing the provisions in the Bill while that piece of legislation relating to it is still being reviewed. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has also added its weight to the concern of the interface of the Bill with the Mental Health Act review. Providing written evidence to the Committee, it said:

“The current confusion in the use of Deprivation of Liberty within the MCA and the MHA often means the needs of people with learning disabilities are not being met in a timely and appropriate fashion…The independent review of the MHA has considered this and made recommendations around when a person should be detained under which Act around objection…The Mental Health Act Review makes the recommendation that the Code of Practice for the MHA and for the MCA make clear in what circumstances professionals should consider whether or not someone has capacity to make decisions…We also think that both Codes should make clear who should carry out capacity assessments in these situations. This needs to be explored further and needs to be considered under this Bill to ensure both legislations work together.”

That is very clear evidence from the sector. Perhaps the Minister will share with us her perspective on the interface between the Bill and the Act. There is a theme running through the written evidence submissions that we have received. The conclusion they come to is that the Government are rushing this Bill through.