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Joint Committee to focus on draft Mental Health Bill and criminal justice system

1 November 2022

The Joint Committee continues its scrutiny of the draft Mental Health Bill.

In the first panel the Joint Committee will focus on changes to the criteria for detention and treatment in the draft Bill and how far they might achieve the Government’s aim to reduce the number of patients detained in hospital. Unintended consequences and the possible impact on community services will also be considered. Further examination is likely on the provision of mental health support in Accident and Emergency departments and the use of the Mental Health Act in hospitals to detain patients whether as a ‘place of safety’ or for clinical assessment.

The second panel will consider the impact of proposed changes in the draft Bill when the Mental Health Act is applied to patients in the criminal justice system. The removal of prison and police cells as ‘places of safety’ in the draft Bill and measures needed to support this change are likely to be examined. 

The Joint Committee has been established by the House of Lords and the House of Commons to consider the Government's draft Bill which aims to modernise the Mental Health Act for the 21st century.

Watch LIVE on 

Witnesses from 13.45: 

Panel 1

  • Dr Arun Chopra, Medical Director, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland 
  • Dr Mark Buchanan, Chair of Mental Health Committee, Royal College of Emergency Medicine 
  • Dr Chloe Beale, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist, Homerton University Hospital  
  • Dr Kevin Stone, Associate Professor in Social Work, University of Plymouth 

Panel 2

  • Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns, Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Juliet Lyon CBE, Chair, Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody
  • Dr Ailbhe O’Loughlin, Senior Lecturer, University of York  
  • Dr Shubulade Smith CBE, Clinical Director for Forensic Services, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Further information

Image: UK Parliament/Tyler Allicock