HC Deb 27 March 1984 vol 57 c131
9. Mr. Proctor

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisified with the operation of the Mental Health Act 1982; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982 was consolidated with the 1959 Act into the Mental Health Act 1983, almost all of which was implemented satisfactorily on 30 September last year. I am very pleased with the bringing into operation of the provisions of the legislation so far.

Mr. Proctor

Is my right hon. and learned Friend satisfied with the speed with which mental health review tribunal hearings are taking place?

Mr. Clarke

I am glad to say that I am, and, in particular, section 2 applications are being dealt with within the statutory time limit that was laid down.

Mr. Meadowcroft

Has the Minister received any representation regarding the use of electro-convulsive therapy under the Act, and is he directing the mental health commissioners to have regard to the strict validity of the detention of a patient without informed consent when receiving such therapy?

Mr. Clarke

When the Act was considered by Parliament last year, a number of forms of treatment were made subject to the second opinion of an independent doctor. The commission is now arranging those second opinions, and I am glad to say that that part of the Act is working very well in practice. We have no intention of redrawing the lines laid down in recent legislation covering different forms of treatment, although we shall consider the advice of the commission on all these matters in due course.