Government rejects Mental Health Bill proposal to restrict compulsory community treatment

As promised, the government overturned the last of the amendments made by peers to the Mental Health Bill last week when it rejected plans to impose strict criteria over the use of compulsory community treatment.

Peers voted in February to restrict the use of community treatment orders to people who would otherwise be in and out of hospital but the government used its majority on the Commons bill committee to reverse the amendment.

The government also overturned an amendment made by peers which would have prevented children under 18 being placed on adult psychiatric wards .

But Health Minister Rosie Winterton told the committee that she would reconsider the issue and come back with new proposals once the bill enters its report stage, likely to be later this month.

Charity Young Minds said all the committee members wanted to see children treated appropriately and said it was “hopeful” that Winterton would come back with positive proposals.

Winterton told a Commons debate: “I want to ensure that we get the services right, and that any legislation that we introduce does not create a perverse incentive for children not to get treatment because a clinician feels that what he wants to do is unlawful.”

The government has already overturned amendments which would have ensured people detained were likely to benefit from their treatment and would have introduced measures to prevent people being detained unless their judgment was impaired.

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Government overturns Mental Health Bill proposal to prevent under-18s being placed in adult psychiatric wards

The Mental Health Bill: How proper support will make compulsory treatment orders unnecessary

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