Date Published: 5 July 2007

Mental Health Coalition welcomes the New Mental Health Bill (UK)

The Mental Health Coalition has welcomed the new UK Mental Health Bill which was agreed by the House of Commons earlier today. The Bill which came under close scrutiny in parliament and had significant amendments tabled in the Lords this week has now been passed for Royal Assent.

The Coalition welcomed what it described as "the significant improvements that the Bill will deliver for mental health services and service users". Coalition members now look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Health to ensure the new legislation and code of practice will be implemented swiftly and effectively.

According to the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), some of the changes made to this Bill during its passage through the parliamentary process include increasing the focus on health benefits for conditions of CTOs, the creation of a statutory advocacy service and measures to ensure that children and young people will be treated in age appropriate environments.

Professor Peter Kinderman, British Psychological Society said:

The passage of the Mental Health Bill is good news for service users and for professionals. It means that the law will now support high quality, person-centred, multi-disciplinary care and will cement the improvements in provision of mental health services we have seen in recent years.

Julia Scott, Chief Executive of the College of Occupational Therapists said:

" The amended bill will ensure that the focus of services will be on those who need them, that their views and needs will be better represented and understood, and that the staff who deliver services for them will be better placed to meet their needs."

Dr Peter Carter, General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing said:

After 8 years of debate we are pleased that the new Bill will push forward considerable improvements to mental health services of the future. The new Bill should be welcomed by professionals and service users alike in promoting modern, accessible, multidisciplinary patient centred care. We look forward to continuing our work in ensuring that the Bill will be implemented in a swift and effective manner.

Gail Adams, Head of Nursing, Unison said:

The Mental Health Bill will now deliver improvements in services for patients and staff which will be fit for the 21st century. However, despite getting this far, the hard work really begins now in delivering the service and ensuring that some of the fears and apprehensions that people had during the passing of the Bill are not materialised. We need to continue to work in partnership to make sure that mental health services meet the needs of service users irrespective of where they are.

Brian Rogers, Professional Officer, Unite / Mental Health Nursing Association said:

Unite/Mental Health Nurses Association is delighted that the Bill has now become law, after many years of campaigning. There are still areas of concern which will need to be addressed in the lead up to implementation, but we are committed to ensuring that the new Mental Health Act works effectively and sensitively to facilitate the highest quality mental health care.

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
For more information see http://www.rcn.org.uk.

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