Draft Mental Health Bill important step towards badly needed reform

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation's mental health network responds to the Government's proposals.

27 June 2022

Responding to the announcement of the Government's draft Mental Health Bill, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation’s mental health network, said:

“The latest draft of the Government’s mental health bill is an important step forward towards badly needed reform. With more people being detained every year, and with unacceptable disparities in rates of detention for some ethnic minorities it is time to act.

“These proposals will have a positive and far-reaching impact, offering better support to patients, caring for more people in the community, and helping to better meet the needs of autistic people and those with learning disabilities.

“It is a complex and wide-reaching Bill so we are very pleased the Government has listened to calls for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is important we work together to get this right. 

“A new duty on commissioners to ensure an adequate supply of community services for people with learning disabilities and autism will be particularly challenging and will need targeted resourcing.

“There are also both long-term capital funding and workforce implications for the health service, local authorities and the criminal justice system that will need to be addressed.”