Peers have inflicted a further defeat on the UK Government’s Mental Health Bill this week by voting to ensure compulsory community treatment is used only on people who would otherwise be in and out of hospital.
The House of Lords voted by 173 to 140 to ensure that community treatment orders (CTOs), which would previously have applied to anyone who had been sectioned, could only apply to so-called “revolving door” patients.
An amendment to the Bill – proposed by Tory health spokesman Earl Howe and carried by a majority of 33 – restricts the use of CTOs to those patients who have already been in hospital previously and whose condition deteriorated quickly when they returned home.
This new amendment to the Bill comes just a week after peers defeated the UK Government over three key points during a report stage debate.
On that occasion, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, crossbench and rebel Labour peers voted by 186 to 115 to ensure that detention and compulsory treatment is permitted only if it is “likely” to help the patient.
The Lords also voted that people should not be detained because of factors such as their sexuality and cultural or religious beliefs; and that detentions can only be renewed if a patient is examined by a medical practitioner.