Bill to address ‘Bournewood Gap’ delayed

The second reading of a bill intended to provide protection for
people with a mental disorder who are unable to consent to being
treated in hospital has been delayed by parliamentary

The Patients Without Legal Capacity (Safeguards) Bill seeks to
provide protection for people unable to consent to treatment in a
mental hospital including people with learning difficulties or
Alzheimer’s disease.

The gap in the law has become known as the Bournewood Gap
following the case of Mr L, who had severe learning difficulties
and was informally detained in hospital by Bournewood Community and
Mental Health NHS Trust. His case is to be heard by the European
Court of Human Rights.

The Commons bill could now receive a second reading on May







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