Extent, commencement and short title

Part of Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 2:45 pm, 22nd January 2019

I have two points to make to the Minister. I remind hon. Members that we have heard examples of authorities—they include mine, that of my hon. Friend the Member for Stockton North and some London boroughs—where there is no backlog and where the local authorities have dedicated enough resource to the situation. Despite the number of DoLS applications increasing since the Cheshire West case, they are dealing with it. Let us not talk in Committee as if it is the same everywhere; it is not. Some local authorities are coping perfectly well with the backlog, and there is no pressure in those local authorities to change to a worse system that will cause a problem.

Secondly, I asked the Minister about the cost of dealing with the backlog, and I hope she will touch on that. She has raised the backlog again and again as a reason for rushing the Bill through. It is not a reason for rushing through a new piece of legislation that is this important. I hope that she will come on to say exactly how the backlog is to be dealt with and what resources will be available to deal with it, because that is an important issue. If the backlog is the reason for doing things this way, how is the backlog going to be dealt with?