Memorandum submitted by Kevin Fane-Saunders (MH 36)
The treatment of mentally ill people in this country is lamentable. The country grows ever more prosperous but people with mental illness are at the bottom of the league table when it comes to allocation of resources. It is vitally important that mental health legislation reflects the views of the majority of health care professionals. In this regard I respectfully draw the following points to the committee's attention:
1. The House of Lords amendments to the Mental Health Bill are important and should not be watered down when the Bill reaches the House of Commons.
2. The country does not need a compulsion sledge-hammer to treat so called 'Revolving Door Patients'. The patient/doctor relationship is vitally important, particularly in mental health, and compulsion will merely drive patients away from seeking help.
3. Doctors treating mentally ill patients understand the difference between 'treatable' and 'curable' patients - they deal with both on a daily basis. Legislation is not needed in this area.
4. Money must be made available to treat children and young people in separate wards, and this cannot be used as an excuse to delay their treatment. For far too long mental heath in this country has suffered from prejudice and misunderstanding and has been starved of resources compared with other parts of the NHS.
5. The exclusions proposed by the House of Lords are necessary to prevent abuse of the legislation and will not lead to the premature release of dangerous patients.