A Sense of ‘Déjà Vu’ – a preliminary (and immediate) response to the Report of the Scrutiny Committee on the draft Mental Health Bill

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff


The draft Mental Health Bill was published on the 8th September 2004. In advance of publication a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament was set up to subject the draft Bill to prelegislative scrutiny and, following consultation, to recommend improvements before a final version of the Mental Health Bill is introduced in parliament.

The Committee first met on the 15th September 2004, and the report was published on the 23rd March 2005. In the intervening period the Committee considered 450 written submissions, heard oral evidence from 124 witnesses (including professionals, carers and service users) and visited three hospitals, including Broadmoor.

The Scrutiny Committee came up with 107 conclusions and recommendations, and I think it would be fair to say that if the Government accepts these, the Mental Health Bill that will be introduced to Parliament will bear very little relationship to the draft Bill published last September. On several occasions the Committee commends the very different approach taken in the Scottish Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 due to be introduced in stages starting in April of this year.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19164/ijmhcl.v1i12.169


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