Labour’s attempts to get the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill thrown out was defeated yesterday through the greater numbers of Conservative and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members, which allowed the Bill to pass its second reading in the Commons. It will now be scrutinised in detail by a committee of MPs.
Labour attempted to get the Bill thrown out on the grounds that it would not put the interests of service users first, would create conflict of interests (as already mentioned), would not reduce the substantial backlog of DoLs cases and would not address the interface between the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Mental Health Act 1983.
Matt Hancock, The Secretary of State of Health and Social Care said: –
“There are currently 2 million people in this country who have impaired mental capacity. Care homes and hospitals often have to take decisions to restrict people’s movements in order to protect them. That could involve preventing elderly people with dementia from moving, or stopping vulnerable people getting access to things that they could use to self-harm. The present deprivation of liberty safeguards are meant to ensure that people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves are not deprived of their liberty unfairly or unnecessarily, but the current system is broken and needs to change.”
Providers should keep aware of the ongoing developments in this area. The Liberty Protection Safeguards are unlikely to become legislation until March of next year. In the meantime, we wait with bated breath to see what will happen until then.