Mental Health Measure Committee publishes recommendations

Following a public consultation the National Assembly for Wales Legislation Committee scrutinising the Proposed Mental Health (Wales) Measure has today published a report presenting recommendations for the Measure.

In the report the Committee recommends:
• That the proposed Measure should be ‘age blind’ and legislate for the provision of services to children and young people as well as adults
• That there should be more clarity about how the Measure will relate to prisoners
• That adequate resources be made available to “develop skills and capacity required to successfully implement the proposed Measure”
• That the importance of holistic assessments in ensuring services for patients are based on the Recovery Model be emphasised in the Explanatory Memorendum, guidance and any explanatory information accompanying the Measure.

Commenting on the recommendations, Alun Thomas, Deputy Chief Executive at Hafal, said: “Our Members welcome the recommendations that the proposed Measure should apply to children and young people, and that there should be clarity on how the Measure will relate to prisoners.

“However, our Members are disappointed that several rights they campaigned for have been ignored.

“Most significantly, the Committee chose not to recommend that there should be set time limits from referral by a GP for assessment to that assessment taking place, and from qualifying as a patient to the completion of a care plan. We know from experience that such time limits would greatly benefit patients, and that if you achieve as early an intervention as possible, the outcomes are far more positive.

“It is quite remarkable that the Committee has not recommended time limits. It is inconceivable that patients should have to wait two or three months for assessment and several months more for a care plan. Giving people a right to something but without a time scale ultimately means they don’t actually have that right.”

Following the publication of the report there will be a detailed consideration of the Measure and any amendments tabled by a committee of Assembly Members.

To read a briefing on the Committee Report from mental health charity Hafal, click here.