Things have gone a little quiet at the moment as the next line-by-line reading of the Health and Social Care Bill is being scheduled in the House of Lords. However there’s a very good outline of what’s happened already at the UK Parliament website here. The most recent reading of the Bill is to be found here. There were a few points about information standards that I thought were particularly interesting. A question was asked about how information is collected in the NHS and how this relates to the use of that information and this is an important area. Another point was raised by Baroness Murphy who moved to repeal section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983. The is a section in the Act which applies to members of parliament and it was argued in the discussion that it was disciminatory against those with a mental illness as the Member of Parliament can be removed from their seat after six months. A similar use of a previous Mental Health Act was used to remove the Reverend Charles Leach MP in 1916 who (may have)
had developed vascular dementia. According to this Wikipedia article (I haven’t checked the primary sources) the Reverend Charles Leach had been unwell for some time and the process of local elections had been disrupted by World War I and so in the end he was removed from his seat by means of a previous version of the Act. So if this repeal is included and passes through in the Bill’s final form, the Mental Health Act will be amended accordingly.
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