HC Deb 24 July 1959 vol 609 cc1698-9

Lords Amendment: In page 20, line 13, at end insert: (4A) Where a patient is admitted to a hospital in pursuance of an application for admission for treatment, any previous application under this Part of this Act by virtue of which he was liable to be detained in a hospital or subject to guardianship shall cease to have effect.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This is the first of a series of related Amendments which are basically drafting. Their object is to clarify the position of the patient who, while liable to be detained under an application, order, or direction made under Part IV or Part V of the Bill, becomes the subject of a fresh application, order, or direction, or perhaps is sentenced to imprisonment. That can happen when a patient is absent from hospital with or without leave. In such circumstances, it is obviously important to know to what extent the original authority for detention in hospital or under guardianship is superseded.

The principles which we follow and which are brought out in these Amendments are as follows. The first is that, normally, an existing authority for detention in the hospital should not be cancelled if a patient is in prison on remand or committal because that may be followed by an acquittal of the offence with which he is charged, if he is on remand, or by the imposition of a penalty which does not involve his detention elsewhere if he is convicted. In those cases, he should return to the hospital to continue his treatment.

The second principle is that it should not be cancelled if he is detained in prison to serve a sentence which is too short for the fact that he is absent from hospital to become known to the authorities or for arrangements for his transfer back to the hospital to be made under Part V. If, on the other hand—and this brings me to the third principle—he is in prison for long enough for his mental condition and previous hospital to become known and he is not then transferred to hospital under Part V, it is likely to be because of a deliberate decision not to do so, and it is, therefore, right that authority for detention in hospital should lapse.

All that is made clear by this and the related Amendments which, with your permission Mr. Speaker, I shall move as consequential when the time comes.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.