Draft bill will be published in July

The long-delayed draft Mental Health Bill will be published for
pre-legislative scrutiny before parliament breaks for summer recess
next month, Community Care has learned.

A revised version of the bill, which first appeared in 2002
creating a storm of protest within the mental health field, will
still contain controversial – albeit redefined – measures for
compulsory treatment orders.

Leading mental health charities such as Mind condemned proposals to
treat people in the community. They argued that, if forced to take
medication, people would be reluctant to seek help.

Measures to deal with people diagnosed with untreatable personality
disorders will also remain. However, they too will be redefined,
although it is not yet known how.

The draft bill will finish its time in committee before the end of
the parliamentary session, allowing for the resulting bill to be
included in the Queen’s speech.

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