Draft Mental Health Bill “unworkable” in Wales

The draft Mental Health bill is “unworkable” in
Wales because services are not sufficiently equipped to deliver the
legislation, Welsh organisations have warned, writes
Maria Ahmed.

Giving evidence to the joint committee on the bill this week,
Hafal, a service user-led group, said Welsh services “lacked
the infrastructure” to support the bill.

Vicky Yates, a carer representing Hafal, told the committee
implementation of the national service framework for mental health
in Wales remained “patchy” and said the bill would not
work without “radical” change.

The group were particularly concerned that there was no clear
timetable for implementing the NSF, leaving Wales “falling
behind” England.

Hafal also raised concerns over workforce problems including an
“acute shortage” of psychiatrists in Wales.

The bill’s requirement of an increase in tribunals would
lead to a diversion of “already scant resources” away
from health services to the management of the legal process, the
group warned.

“This in turn would mean more people deteriorating to the
point where compulsion was necessary,” Hafal representatives

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