The government could be leaving the NHS open to hundreds of
compensation claims from people with mental illness if it decides
to include proposals on compulsory detention when it resurrects the
Mental Health Bill later this year.
The bill, which was put on hold after it failed to be completed in
the last parliamentary session, included controversial plans to
introduce compulsory detention for people with untreatable
A report by the Association of Community Health Councils released
last week warns that the 600 or more people who fall into that
category could seek redress over abuses of their rights under
article 5 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Other groups that could also claim compensation using the act
include older people who have received a lower standard of
treatment compared with younger people, covered by article 14,
which prohibits age discrimination.
Marion Chester, legal officer at the association, said: “Ensuring
that the NHS meets its obligations under the legislation could save
the NHS millions in unnecessary litigation.”
– Human Rights and the Health Service from www.achcew.org.uk