MP Walker voices horror over mental health sectioning error

13:03 09 November 2012

Charles Walker MP

Charles Walker MP

Archant

AN MP has voiced his horror after it emerged that up to 5,000 people were sectioned under the Mental Health Act by doctors without the right to do so.

Charles Walker, whose constituency includes Cuffley, Northaw and Goffs Oak, spoke out after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed the “technical error”, in place since 2002.

Mr Walker said in the House of Commons: “Removing the liberty of ill people is serious business, and deserves to be taken seriously.

“That has not been the case for the past decade, or perhaps even longer.

“I hope that, as we go forward, we can ensure that people who are ill get the representation and advocacy they deserve and that they – and, most importantly, their rights – are taken seriously.”

Mr Walker won plaudits earlier this year when he revealed his battle with OCD.

In response health supremo and former Culture Secretary Mr Hunt said: “As a result of the new structures in the NHS, responsibility for ensuring that all patients who are threatened with detention receive the advocacy to which they are entitled under the Mental Health Act will be transferred from primary care trusts to local authorities.

“We will use this opportunity to review the arrangements, talk to local authorities, and do all that we can to ensure that those functions are discharged in the way my honourable friend seeks.”

And reacting to Mr Hunt’s statement Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said: “I know this House will want to get to the bottom of the unacceptable breaches of procedure that we have just heard about.”

The ‘loophole’ which allowed the blunder has now been closed after retrospective legislation.

0 comments

Yesterday, 20:23
Nero and Digby at RSPCA Southridge

The little and large pairing of dogs Digby and Nero make for a very odd couple at RSPCA Southridge near Potters Bar.

Yesterday, 17:08

Police are asking for information after vandals caused extensive damage to both courses at Brocket Hall.

Yesterday, 15:41
Matthew Hancock MP

Welwyn Hatfield will receive a huge funding boost following an announcement made by Matthew Hancock MP on a visit to the University of Hertfordshire.

Yesterday, 12:28
Emma Carr, director of Big Brother Watch

Councils have defended having scores of staff, who have the power to enter homes, following stinging criticism from civil liberties campaigners.

Valentine's Day

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Welwyn Hatfield Times e-edition today E-edition