College comments on Government's response to Joint Committee report on Mental Health Bill

Statement / comment
21 March 2024

Dr Lade Smith CBE, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has commented on the publication of the Government's response to the Joint Committee report on the Mental Health Bill. The Joint Committee has been appointed to consider the draft Bill to reform the Mental Health Act 1983, which includes changes to the safeguards and support received by patients.

Dr Lade Smith CBE, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

"The Government has published its response to the Joint Committee on the Draft Mental Health Bill’s rigorous report. The response dismisses the vast majority of the Joint Committee’s thoughtful and constructive recommendations. We hope future governments will not feel confined by this recent response but will instead look again more closely at the Joint Committee’s recommendations, as well as the expert findings of the Wessely Review.

"It was disappointing that the Bill was not prioritised for this term of Parliament, despite being a last manifesto pledge. We have not seen adequate action to tackle the underlying causes of rising detentions under the Mental Health Act, particularly among people from Black and racialised communities.

"The College is calling for any future Government to make modernising mental health law a top priority. This must be supported by the enormous expertise across the mental health sector, and we look forward to working with DHSC on this."


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