Welsh Affairs Committee Publishes Mental Health LCO Report

The National Assembly for Wales should have additional powers to introduce laws relating to mental health, say MPs in a report published today.

The Welsh Affairs Committee agrees that there is a clear need for the proposed Legislative Competence Order (LCO) on mental health and that using the LCO process is the most appropriate legislative route.

The LCO process is a means whereby the National Assembly for Wales can bring forward proposals which would extend the Assembly’s lawmaking powers.

The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Hywel Francis MP, said:

“The evidence we received about this LCO demonstrates wide support for additional powers in relation to mental health to be passed to the National Assembly, and we agree.

“I am pleased that in this first instance of a non-Government Assembly Member, Jonathan Morgan AM, laying an Order before Parliament there was a high level of cooperation between Mr Morgan, the Minister for Health and Social Services and the Welsh Assembly Government, and the Wales Office which enabled the LCO to get to this stage.”

Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of patient-led mental health charity Hafal, welcomed the report, stating: “It’s encouraging to see that the process for enabling Welsh mental health legislation is continuing. The significance of the LCO is that it could result in law providing people with serious mental illnesses with important rights.  For example, a legal right to a comprehensive care plan for people with serious mental illness could reduce the number who go on to become subject to the Mental Health Act.”

To read the full report go to: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmwelaf/778/778.pdf