Mental Health Bill Will Not Deliver For Welsh Patients, Says BMA Cymru Wales
As the Mental Health Bill begins its passage through the House of Commons, BMA Cymru Wales warns that the Bill will not deliver for Welsh patients. Welsh psychiatrist, Dr Sian McIver said:
“We believe that unless the Lords’ amendments are kept, the Bill will have a severe impact on mental health in Wales. Removing most of the exclusions to the definition of mental disorder whilst failing to add in a “therapeutic benefit” test to the legislation will dramatically increase the number of people that the legislation will apply to.
“The additional people who will fall under the provision of the Act are most likely to be people with personality disorders who are currently not considered treatable.
“This will result in a diverting away of mental health resources from ordinary patients with treatable illnesses to people who do not have mental illnesses and are not thought to be treatable by doctors.
“Psychiatric hospitals are likely to rapidly fill with these people with the concomitant reduction in services available to all other patients. Wales has a legacy of under funding and poor resourcing of mental health services and will, therefore be disproportionately affected by the diversion of resources away from ordinary patients into these statutory provisions.
“We strongly advocate that the Government reinstates exclusions to the definition of mental disorder and accepts the ethical principal of including a “treatability” test in the legislation in order to prevent this diversion of resources away from mentally ill patients.”