HC Deb 29 January 2004 vol 417 cc473-4W
Mrs. Helen Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the use of criminal guardianship powers in the Mental Health Act 1983. [149799]

Ms Rosie Winterton

I am not aware of any research that has been commissioned on the use of the guardianship powers given to courts under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to extend the use of triage in mental health provision. [151790]

Ms Rosie Winterton

A number of initiatives are being put in place to improve emergency assessment and treatment of people with mental health problems.

In line with the commitments outlined in the NHS Plan, crisis resolution services are being developed to provide intensive support for people in mental health crisis in their own home. Crisis resolution services are designed to provide prompt and effective home treatment, including medication, in order to prevent hospital admissions and give support to informal carers.

In addition, almost 500 Gateway workers will be in place by the end of the year to help people in mental health crises access appropriate services in the community.

People with mental health problems are also able to use the NHS Direct to get first-level advice and referral on to specialised helplines or to local services.