Welsh groups plead to delay legislation

Welsh charities are to take their fight to delay new mental health
legislation to the national assembly after warning that proposals
are likely to stretch services to breaking point.

They cite a shortage of mental health professionals, fragile
service infrastructure and a lack of a fully implemented national
service framework in the field.

The planned legislation will be based on the draft Mental Health
Bill, which broadens the types of conditions that can be subject to
compulsory detention.

Campaigners are angry that the government failed to back a
parliamentary committee’s recommendation not to introduce the bill
in Wales until services had been brought up to English

Bill Walden-Jones, chief executive of charity Hafal, said he would
ask the Welsh assembly to lobby the government to delay
implementation of the plans.

He said that, although the framework had been “widely supported in
policy terms” in Wales, it had “simply not been implemented on

He added: “To suggest that the rights to appropriate treatment are
sufficiently catered for by these guidelines is frankly

Ruth Coombs, policy manager at charity Mind, said she had “grave
concerns” over the inadequate level of services in Wales.

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