71.Memorandum from Mr John Mandry, Support
Worker, SHOUT (MIB 689)
I am writing on behalf of the committee and
membership of SHOUT to raise our grave concerns about the above
mentioned Bill, specifically Clauses 6 and 7. As they stand these
appear to have little or no safeguards for people with learning
Clause 6 appears to start from nowhere, via
somewhere and back to nowhere. It seems to be a somewhat insubstantial
format given the consequences of the definition of incapacity.
Surely some form of formal assessment should be made that is accountable
in law, preferably by a panel or something akin? These should
also review the incapacity at regular intervals. I would also
hope that the person judged to be incapable would have recourse
to appeal against decisions. This does not appear to be part of
the Bill. If it is, then this is well hidden.
Clause 7 subsection 1, which has an even more
tenuous hold on reality, is also a really big worry. If there
are not built-in safeguards or a code of practice like the one
for the 1983 Mental Health Act (Clause 19) then it leaves much
scope for abuse of all kinds.
We fear that the above clauses, either separately
or in concert will by accident or design end up denying people
with learning difficulties real life choices. Given the paucity
of resources generally available it could be a distinct possibility.
As it is, we feel that people will suffer due
to the somewhat simplistic view when applied to people with learning
disabilities and feel that any legislation which affects them
should be done as distinct law, rather than jumbled in as at present.