Compromise on compulsory treatment in Mental Health Bill possible

The government has suggested it may compromise on plans in the Mental Health Bill to extend compulsory community treatment.

During a committee debate, junior health minister Lord Hunt reiterated the government’s commitment to the proposed community treatment orders but said he hoped to “find a way through” with opponents.

Shadow health minister Earl Howe had earlier tabled an amendment scrapping the orders, which would extend compulsory community treatment, saying there was no evidence to justify them.

The amendment was withdrawn but Howe said there was a possibility of “constructive dialogue” if the orders were restricted to those with a history of serious violence and previous relapse and were identified as a continuing high risk.

Debate on the bill is expected to continue next week.

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