Skip to main content

Call for Evidence

Draft Mental Health Bill

This submission form is not currently public. Please only use this form if invited to do so by the committee, otherwise your submission might not be considered.

We are a Committee of Members of Parliament and Peers. We have been appointed by both Houses of Parliament to consider the Government’s draft Mental Health Bill. The Government will respond to our recommendations when it decides how to change the law.

We would like to hear your views about the draft Bill, which will inform the recommendations we make to the Government. We particularly want to hear about potential recommendations we could make to address any issues that you identify.

At the same time, we can’t help you with individual problems that you may be facing. You may be able to get support or advice from the organisations at the end of this call for evidence, or your local Member of Parliament.

We are working with an external provider to produce an Easy Read version of this document and the survey below. We will publish that as soon as we are able. We will accept submissions after the deadline of 16 September from those who need to use Easy Read.

Let us know your views

If you are an individual with an interest in the draft Bill please let us know your views by completing this survey. A summary of the responses we receive will form part of our report. Extracts from individual responses may be quoted anonymously in it.

If you are submitting on behalf of an organisation, as a researcher or wish to make a detailed submission about how the draft Bill could be improved, you can submit formal written evidence through this portal. Please first read the important information on this webpage and the guidelines and areas of interest below.

Either way, please respond by 16 September 2022.

Areas of interest

We want to hear your views on how the draft Bill could be improved, or how issues you identify could be resolved. We are particularly interested in the following areas. Please do not feel you have to answer every question or must confine your answers to just these topics:

  • How the changes made by the draft Bill will work in practice, particularly alongside other pieces of legislation including the Mental Capacity Act? Might there be unintended consequences and, if so, how should those risks be mitigated?
  • To what extent is the approach of amending the existing Mental Health Act the right one? What are the advantages and disadvantages of approaches taken elsewhere in the UK?
  • Does the draft Bill strike the right balance between increasing patient autonomy and ensuring the safety of patients and others? How is that balance likely to be applied in practice?
  • How far does the draft Bill deliver on the principles set out in the 2018 Independent Review? Does it reflect developments since? Is the Government right not to include the principles in the draft Bill?
  • To what extent will the draft Bill reduce inequalities in people’s experiences of the Mental Health Act, especially those experienced by ethnic minority communities and in particular of black African and Caribbean heritage? What more could it do?
  • What more could the draft Bill do to reduce the impact of financial inequalities in people's experiences of the Mental Health Act?
  • What are your views on the changes to how the Act applies to autistic people and those with learning disabilities?
  • To what extent will the draft Bill achieve its aims of reducing detention, avoiding detention in inappropriate settings and reducing the number of Community Treatment Orders?
  • What do you think the impact of the proposals will be on the workforce within community mental health services and multidisciplinary working practices both in inpatient and community services?
  • What changes and additional support do you think will be needed to help professionals and the third sector implement the proposals effectively? Will additional staffing and resources be required?
  • How far will the draft Bill allow patients to have a greater say in their care, with access to appropriate support and avenues for appeal?
  • What do you think of the proposed replacement of “nearest relative” with “nominated persons”? Do the proposals provide appropriate support for patients, families and nominated people?
  • To what extent is the Government right in the way it has approached people taking advance decisions about their care?
  • What impact will the draft Bill have on children, young people and their families? Does it take sufficient account of the existing legal framework covering children and young people?
  • To what extent are the proposals to allow for conditional discharge that amounts to a deprivation of liberty workable and lawful?
  • What are your views on the proposed changes in the draft Bill concerning those who encounter the Mental Health Act through the criminal justice system? Will they see a change in the number of people being treated in those settings?
  • Are there any additions you would like to see to the draft Bill?

Safeguarding and support

If your survey responses, evidence or correspondence with the team raise safeguarding concerns about you, or other people, we have a responsibility to raise these with the appropriate safeguarding authority. 

If you have immediate concerns about your safety or that of someone else, we urge you to contact 999.

In addition to your GP, the following organisations may be able to offer support or further information:

Samaritans – General support for everyone. Call: 116 123 - 24 hours a day, every-day Email: jo@samaritans.org

Mind – for information, advice, and support for anyone experiencing mental health issues. Call: 0300 123 3393.

Saneline - out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance, and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends, and carers. Open every day from 4.30pm to 10.30pm on 0300 304 7000 or email: support@sane.org.uk.

Start