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MSs to debate update to mental health legislation put forward by Welsh Tories

12 Dec 2023 3 minute read
James Evans MS and the Welsh Conservative Party – by Senedd Cymru Welsh Parliament

Emily Price

This week Senedd Members will debate on the proposed changes put forward by a Welsh Conservative MS to update mental health legislation in Wales.

In the Senedd on Wednesday (December 13) MSs will decide if they want to grant Shadow Metal Health Minister, James Evans MS the go-ahead to proceed to the next stage with his private Member’s Bill.

The Mental Health Standards of Care (Wales) Bill will provide a replacement for current outdated mental health legislation.

It will enshrine several principles of how mental health services are delivered in Wales focusing on “choice and autonomy, least restriction, therapeutic benefit, and treating the person as an individual”.

The Bill will also replace the “Nearest Relative” provisions in the Act with a new role of “Nominated Person” who can represent the person in question by allowing an individual to express their wishes through someone they know and trust.


Additionally, the Bill also sets out to amend elements of the existing Mental Health (Wales) Measure, to ensure that there is no age limit for those who can request a re-assessment of their mental health and to extend the ability to request a reassessment to people specified by the patient.

Member of the Senedd for Brecon and Radnorshire, James Evans MS said: “The changes I am proposing to make are narrow and focused, but significant to updating mental health legalisation here in Wales; they come with very little cost, but they will go a long way to improve the outcomes and experiences for people suffering with their mental health here in Wales.

“This is an important, rights-focused Bill, and I’ve been delighted to have worked with colleagues across the Senedd in shaping this work. I hope to continue to work very closely with members, organisations and experts in the development of this Bill, should the Senedd give its consent to the proposal progressing to the next stage.”


The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Rocio Cifuentes said: “Children have the right under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to the best possible standard of healthcare, and to express their views and to have those views taken seriously, according to age and maturity.

“This includes their views on all aspects of healthcare. The amendments to the Measure proposed in this Bill would mean that children are able to request a re-assessment of their mental health, which they are currently restricted from doing. These changes would empower children in line with the Convention, to which Welsh Government Ministers must pay due regard.”

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