Mental Health Act 1983 to be amended

The Mental Health Act 1983 is to be amended rather than a new bill being introduced, health minister Rosie Winterton announced today.

The new amending bill will be shorter than the draft Mental Health Bill 2004 and there have been a number of compromises following concerns from campaigners.

There will not be compulsory treatment orders although there will be supervised treatment in the community to ensure patients who have been discharged from hospital continue to comply with treatment.

The amendments will also introduce a new simplified definition of mental disorder throughout the Act and remove the “treatability” test.

Winterton said: “This new approach will fulfil our commitment to delivering modern mental health services via a streamlined Bill which will be simpler to understand and less costly to implement than previous proposals.”

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