Investigation of deaths or serious injuries

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 25 Ebrill 2018.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

“When a patient dies or suffers a serious injury in a mental health unit, the responsible person for the mental health unit must have regard to any guidance relating to the investigation of deaths or serious injuries that is published by—

(a) the Care Quality Commission (see Part 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008);

(b) Monitor (see section 61 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012);

(c) the National Health Service Commissioning Board (see section 1H of the National Health Service Act 2006);

(d) the National Health Service Trust Development Authority (which is a Special Health Authority established under section 28 of the National Health Service Act 2006);

(e) a person prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State.”—

This new clause imposes a duty for responsible persons to have regard to guidance that relates to the investigation of deaths or serious injuries when those occur in a mental health unit.

Brought up, and read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

Question proposed, That the Chair do report the Bill, as amended, to the House.

Photo of Steve Reed Steve Reed Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Civil Society)

On a point of order, Mr Gray. Thank you very much for guiding us through the sometimes confusing proceedings so skilfully this morning. I thank hon. Members for participating this morning and on the previous occasion on which we met. I thank hon. Members and the officials who have worked on the Bill for their hard work in getting us this far.

I thank Seni Lewis’s parents, Aji and Conrad Lewis, for joining us this morning. When I have spoken to them about what happened to their son and the need for this Bill, they have reiterated to me their very deep desire for Seni’s death not to have been in vain. I believe our work on this Bill creates a legacy for Seni Lewis, which is that no one else suffering or living with mental ill health need suffer in the way Seni Lewis did.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

On a point of order, Mr Gray. I associate myself with the hon. Gentleman’s remarks. I thank you and the Clerks for guiding us safely and promptly through the procedure. It has been a very good use of our time and resources. I also thank my officials, who have worked very quickly to pull this Bill together in a way that delivers the hon. Gentleman’s objectives in a way that works. It can be challenging when these things come through in a private Member’s Bill.

I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman, who has brought forward a very important reform to how we treat people detained under the Mental Health Act. From my perspective as Minister, we have reached the position whereby, if we are going to achieve parity of esteem, there needs to be a complete reconfiguration of the law as it applies to mental health, to strengthen people’s rights. This very important reform will achieve exactly that.

I also associate myself with the tribute the hon. Gentleman paid to Seni Lewis’s parents. They have taken an incredible tragedy and channelled it into doing something positive. They will achieve a real legacy that strengthens the rights of people who find themselves detained. I pay full tribute to them for doing so.

My final thanks go to all hon. Members who have turned up—quite often to do nothing, because we did not have a money resolution to progress the Bill, but I am very grateful to them for doing so.

Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

On a point of order, Mr Gray. I put on the record my thanks to my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon North for promoting this important Bill.

People outside this place may not know how the private Member’s Bill process works. It starts with a ballot, in which Members put their names in a book. They might get drawn out of the hat and be at the top of the list—I have been taking part for the past eight years and my name certainly has not been pulled out of the hat—but they then have to make the difficult decision of what to use their private Member’s Bill slot for. It is difficult: I have seen the swathes of emails that Members receive, not only from constituents but from countless campaigning organisations across the country that want Members to champion their proposed legislation or campaign.

Not only has my hon. Friend chosen a critical issue—I am so glad that he did so—but he has done so in a way that ensures that the Bill will progress and that, after its passage concludes, we will actually see some action. We cannot say that for every private Member’s Bill. There are others for which we come together on a Friday and vote for or against it and they do not progress. My hon. Friend has chosen something that ensures that he will actually effect change in this country—the chances for which, particularly for Opposition MPs, are in short supply.

I put on the record my thanks to my hon. Friend for his courage and dedication and for the work he has done with countless organisations outside this place. He has introduced something so practical that has gained Government support, and collectively we have ensured that we can actually make a difference for what I believe will be thousands of people in our country.

Photo of James Gray James Gray Ceidwadwyr, North Wiltshire

Those were all entirely bogus points of order, but they are none the less very welcome. They were entirely appropriate. I will pass colleagues’ thanks to my co-Chair, Ms Buck.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, accordingly to be reported.

Committee rose.