As legislation progresses through parliament, we work with MPs and peers to support their scrutiny and ensure the practicalities and implications for the NHS have been considered.
Policing and Crime Bill
The Bill will amend sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) to:
- Ban police cells as a “place of safety” for under-18s and allow for regulations to limit the circumstances where police cells can be used a place of safety for adults.
- Reduce the maximum period of detention for the purposes of an assessment from 72 to 24 hours.
- Extending police officers’ powers to act quickly to detain and remove people experiencing a mental health crisis from any place other than a private dwelling (for which a warrant would still be required).
- Requiring police officers to consult health professionals before detaining someone under the Act’s provisions.
- Widening the current definition of a place of safety and clarifying that assessments under the Act can take place in a private dwelling.
- Lords second reading, July 2016
- Commons committee reading, March 2016
- Commons second reading, March 2016
Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill
The Bill is an opportunity to enable greater local strategic direction of NHS and care services to potentially good effect, but there is a critical need for the Bill to protect the principles on which the NHS is founded and the necessary structures for delivering the service.
The wording of the Bill as proposed raises concerns, notably:
- What safeguards are there to uphold the NHS Constitution and Mandate, which set out patient and service user rights and expectations, throughout England?
- How will the Bill build on existing local accountability structures and ensure appropriate governance mechanisms are put in place for devolved functions?
- What safeguards are there to ensure that local commissioning decisions remain clinically led?
- What safeguards are there to ensure that devolved powers do not unintentionally destabilise local services at a time when the NHS faces some if its biggest challenges?
NHS Providers Insights - blog on the NHS and the Devolution Bill, July 2015
House of Commons briefings
House of Lords briefings