Health department ‘should steer bill’

    Liberal Democrats are supporting calls for a revised mental health
    bill driven by the Department of Health and not the Home
    Office.

    It follows a proposal in the draft mental health bill to detain
    indefinitely people with untreatable personality disorders who have
    committed no crime. The move has provoked outrage among
    professionals and service users.

    Lib Dem mental health spokesperson Sarah Teather told an event
    organised by mental health charity Mind that people with mental
    health problems committed only a small number of violent
    crimes.

    It is understood that a battle between the Home Office, which wants
    to retain the measures in the bill, and the Department of Health,
    which is under pressure to remove them, is likely to be won by the
    DoH.

    Floyd Porter, head of the mental health team at Christian Kahn
    solicitors, told the event that the government’s original proposals
    had shifted the balance too far towards “the supposed protection of
    the public”.

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