HC Deb 04 March 1999 vol 326 cc897-8W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the use of electro-convulsive-therapy treatment for mental health patients. [73003]

Mr. Hutton

Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) can be used for a variety of conditions, including depression, mania and certain forms of schizophrenia. It has been shown to be of most benefit where other treatments have failed.

Of those established by my Department since 1 May 1997, the Better Regulation Task Force, has external members recruited by way of public advertisement. Members of this task force are unpaid and receive expenses only. The details of the persons appointed are as follows: Matti Alderson (Director General, Advertising Standards Authority) Deirdre Hutton (Chair of the Scottish Consumer Council).

Public consultation exercises have been conducted by the following task forces and policy reviews:

An expert group, chaired by Genevra Richardson, Professor of Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College, has been appointed to undertake a review of mental health legislation in England and Wales and to make recommendations on the scope of a new legislative framework by 1 July 1999. The group's report will include advice on appropriate safeguards which should apply to the use of Electro-Convulsive Therapy.