Philip Davies contributions to the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018


Fri 6th July 2018 Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill (Commons Chamber)
3rd reading: House of Commons
13 interactions (1,792 words)
Fri 15th June 2018 Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill (Commons Chamber)
Report stage: House of Commons
102 interactions (15,124 words)
Fri 3rd November 2017 Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill (Commons Chamber)
2nd reading: House of Commons
11 interactions (179 words)

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill

(3rd reading: House of Commons)
Philip Davies Excerpts
Friday 6th July 2018

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) (LD)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

6 Jul 2018, 9:42 a.m.

I speak briefly to confirm my very strong support for this Bill, to congratulate the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) on pursuing it, and to pay tribute to the extraordinary stoicism of Seni’s parents, Mr and Mrs Lewis. I am not sure whether they are here today, but we owe it to them that something good comes from the tragedy of the loss of their son. When I was a Minister, I published new guidance aimed at ending the use of prone restraint—the sort of restraint used on Seni Lewis—and radically reducing the use of other restraint.

Depressingly, although it may in part be due to better reporting, the data shows very little change in the overall use of force in mental health units across the country. The truth is that force is endemic in many in-patient units. However, we also know that many units have managed to reduce the use of force substantially.

On therapeutic care and recovery, we have to confront, as a country, the use of force in our mental health units and, if we do not do that, we will never achieve the ambition of facilitating recovery for people who have experienced mental ill health. Frequently, people who find themselves in mental health units have suffered abuse in their life. For a woman who has suffered abuse, restraint, with many people holding her down to the floor, is just a repeat of that abuse. Such restraint destroys trust between staff and patient and completely undermines therapeutic care.

It is possible to achieve a much greater reduction in the use of force. This Bill, particularly through the transparency and accountability it brings, will be enormously beneficial in seeking to change that culture. I strongly support the Bill for that reason.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con)
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6 Jul 2018, 9:44 a.m.

I start by commending the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) for his dedication to the Bill and, more importantly, for his dedication to his constituent Seni Lewis and his family, who have been through unimaginable tragedy.

The hon. Gentleman’s campaign to highlight the issues that the Lewis family have faced and to create a positive change in mental health practices is admirable and a true reflection of the care and compassion he applies to his role in his local community. As he knows, and as we have discussed on a number of occasions, I support the core principles of what he is aiming to do. The Bill is something of a curate’s egg, because some bits are very good, some bits are bad and, most frustratingly—this happens with virtually every Bill that comes before the House—some bits could have been much better, as he and I both agree.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Sir Christopher Chope) mentioned, the Minister said on Report that she could not agree to certain things being included in the Bill but that she wants them to be included in statutory guidance. I will outline my under-standing of the things that will go into statutory guidance, which the Minister will hopefully either confirm or correct. Hopefully, as I have always intended, the Bill will then be able to complete its passage in no time at all.

Clause 5, on training in appropriate use of force, is a positive step forward in the care of patients. It is an important change, as it centres on the very core of health services—the patient. Key elements of the training programme are listed in subsection (2). The use of techniques for avoiding or reducing the use of force, and the risk associated with the use of force are two fundamental points that are vital when restraint methods are part of a medical care plan.

It must not be forgotten that the most forceful restraint methods are advised to be used as a last resort. Medical staff should be fully versed in a wealth of techniques to avoid such restraints, where possible, but it must not be assumed that restraint should be banned altogether. Unfortunately, there are times when forceful restraint is necessary, but it is essential that such techniques are used with a full knowledge of the associated risks.

It is regrettable that my amendment 12, on introducing training on acute behavioural disturbance, was not accepted on Report, as it would have enhanced the Bill. I thank the hon. Member for Croydon North for supporting that amendment. I have been advised by the Minister that such training will be added to statutory guidance instead, and I thank her for sending me a letter on Wednesday to follow up on many of these points.

My concern, and I would like some clarification, is how the statutory guidance will be worded. In her letter to me, the Minister quoted the 2015 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines, which state that training on ABD

“should be included in staff training”.

The whole point of my amendment is that it would have ensured training on ABD must be included in staff training. My concern is that guidance is just that, guidance, rather than something that is mandatory. This is an opportunity to ensure the thorough education of staff on something we have established to be central to the Bill.

I therefore hope the Minister is able to confirm, whether today or in future, that training on acute behavioural disturbance must, rather than just should, be included in staff training. It must be mandatory.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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I appreciate my hon. Friend’s frustration. One of the difficulties with clause 5, inevitably, is that a list of criteria could go on forever. He is right to highlight the issues of acute behavioural disturbance, which we consider already to be enshrined in guidance. I completely take his point, and I give him an assurance that we will use statutory guidance to make it very clear that staff need to be fully trained on acute behavioural disturbance, not least because, unless staff understand it, they cannot be proportionate when the use of force is, indeed, appropriate.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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6 Jul 2018, 9:49 a.m.

I am very grateful to the Minister for that positive intervention, and we look forward to seeing that guidance when it is brought forward.

On clause 5, I am also supportive of the focus on involving

“patients in the planning, development and delivery of care and treatment”.

I would have preferred to see that extended to the patient’s family, as was proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch, because, as we know, mental illness does not affect just the patient; it can affect those near and dear to them, too. Again, the Minister stated on Report that she would seek to put this into statutory guidance and I hope she intends to follow through with that, because many family members would think it is very important.

Barry Sheerman Portrait Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)
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6 Jul 2018, 9:50 a.m.

As chair of the Westminster Commission on Autism, may I tell the hon. Gentleman that many people in the commission have a great interest in this Bill and support it? He has started off very reasonably in his remarks and I hope he will continue in that reasonable way, because the autism community want to see this Bill become law.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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6 Jul 2018, 9:51 a.m.

Absolutely. The hon. Gentleman is not alone in that, and nor is the autism community—I want the Bill to become law, too. If he had not intervened on me, we could have completed this a bit sooner. I assure him that this Third Reading will complete very soon. I certainly do not intend to go on for long today and I do not think anyone else does. We want to complete this as quickly as possible and see the Bill on the statute book. I want to see that just as much as he does.

Clause 6 deals with recording the use of force and I am very supportive of having this in the Bill. It is right to record the carrying out of such practices on patients. The police have a system in place when using restraint as part of their role, so it is only right that medical staff should follow suit. I am advised by my local care trust that it does have some measures in place to record restraint of a patient, but this Bill will of course make it a legal requirement to do so, which is important and absolutely right. Again, I was disappointed that my amendment proposing that these records be added to the patient’s medical records was not accepted. As I have stated, restraint is considered to be a form of medical care and therefore should be documented in the patient’s medical notes. That would help people to know what reaction the patient had had when restraint had happened in the past. I hope the Minister will make sure that the statutory guidance can be used and updated to make sure that these things are added to people’s medical records at the same time. I hope she will be able to confirm that in the fullness of time, too.

On clause 6(5), the information listed to be included in the report is largely constructive. Where I feel it falls short is in insisting on adding what are referred to as “relevant characteristics”. As the hon. Member for Croydon North knows too well, I do not agree that that is necessary. I am of the opinion that including these “relevant characteristics” detailing race, sexuality, religion, marital status and so on is purely a politically correct gesture in order to be seen to be doing something to combat discrimination, when instead it causes the illusion of discrimination. There is a notion that this creates a more transparent mental health service, but that is not the case. For instance, the detailing of these “relevant characteristics” will extend only to the patient and not the staff. My amendment to say that staff members should be included in this was also supported by the hon. Gentleman, for which I am grateful. I hope that the Minister takes on board those points and will ensure that the statutory guidance she produces in conjunction with the Bill will set out that staff members’ “relevant characteristics” will be included alongside those of the patient.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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6 Jul 2018, 9:54 a.m.

I confirm to my hon. Friend that we will reflect on that when we come to discuss this matter with consultees. I want also to come back to the point he made earlier about families. On the face of it, we should be enshrining the rights of families in the Bill, recognising, as the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) said in regard to autism, that we often rely on families to protect individuals whose mental capacity is not enough to consent to treatment. However, we are also aware that patients suffering mental ill health can often not be best served by family members, so enshrining this in the Bill and in law could have unintended consequences. On the role of families, we strongly feel that statutory guidance gives us a better tool with which to manage both guaranteeing their rights and protecting individuals who might be vulnerable to their family under the law.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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6 Jul 2018, 9:59 a.m.

Again, I am very grateful to the Minister for that and for her positive approach to ensuring that the points being raised here and that we raised on Report will be considered for the statutory guidance. We will therefore look forward to seeing it when it is published.

Finally, I wish to refer to clause 12, which deals with video recording and specifically details the police use of body-worn cameras when assisting in restraint at a mental health unit. Largely, police body cameras are used in this instance, unless there are special circumstances. I am a big fan of body-worn cameras, which are a beneficial tool for both officers, protecting them when complaints are made about them, and the public, in making sure that the true facts of a situation are seen by everybody. However, the Bill states that the police

“must take a body camera”

and

“must wear it and keep it operating at all times”.

It goes on to state that a “failure” to “comply” makes

“the officer liable to criminal…proceedings.”

As the Minister and the hon. Member for Croydon North know, I feel that that creates a severe disproportion of consequences between the actions of the police and the actions of the medical staff.

Chris Philp Portrait Chris Philp (Croydon South) (Con)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

6 Jul 2018, 9:56 a.m.

Clause 12(4) states:

“A failure by a police officer to comply with the requirements…does not…make the officer”

criminally liable. I think I am right in saying that such an officer would not be criminally liable. If I have misunderstood this, I am happy to be corrected.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention. I cannot recall whether he was here on Report, but we went through this in some detail then and so I do not wish to test the patience of the House by going through it all again this morning. If he looks back at the transcript of the debate, he might not be so confident in what he said. I think there is some doubt about this provision and it offers some doubt for police officers, who have also looked at the Bill. Notwithstanding that intervention by my hon. Friend, may I ask that the Minister takes this issue into careful consideration when creating the statutory guidance, if that provides an opportunity to look at this? I ask her to make sure that there are no unintended consequences. My hon. Friend the Member for Croydon South (Chris Philp) sums up exactly what is intended by the Government and the promoter of the Bill, but I hope that when the Minister brings forward her statutory guidance she will clarify the situation, because police officers are concerned about it.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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6 Jul 2018, 9:57 a.m.

Perhaps I can give my hon. Friend reassurance by saying that the College of Policing will be fully involved in the development of the statutory guidance.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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Again, I am extremely grateful for that and am pleased to hear it.

To conclude, I reiterate my support for the Member for Croydon North with his private Member’s Bill. As I have said on a number of occasions, I support the core principles of the Bill, although I feel that there have been some missed opportunities to achieve fully the objectives he set out. I hope that his constituents, the Lewis family, feel that the Bill is something they can proudly remember the life of Seni Lewis through, knowing that his death was not in vain. It was a terrible tragedy for the family, but it was not in vain, in the sense that they have worked very hard and constructively, and they have a fantastic Member of Parliament who has taken on board their campaign, on the back of which they have played their part in making sure that the terrible thing that happened to Seni Lewis does not happen to other families. On that basis, we should all be pleased that the Bill is passing its Third Reading today.

Catherine West Portrait Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green) (Lab)
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6 Jul 2018, 9:59 a.m.

It is a privilege to contribute briefly to this Third Reading debate. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) on getting the Bill to this stage, and hope that there will be sufficient support for it when we vote later.

As a patron of Mind in Haringey, I know that there is a real sense of urgency regarding the need to improve the quality of services in mental health provision, not only locally but nationally. Whether it is basic primary care assistance to prevent the decline in a patient’s mental health, or at peak crisis time when psychosis, mania or the depths of the lows for a bipolar sufferer strike, it is crucial that care is provided in a professional, sensitive and compassionate manner.

Tragically, the Bill does not reflect the fatal experience of just one 23-year-old young man from my hon. Friend’s constituency: Seni Lewis died following restraint by 11 police officers while he was in a mental health unit. That was not an isolated incident. Thousands of patients have suffered abusive restraint, with too little guidance and supervision for police and mental health professionals on how best to manage mental health crisis. The high number of injuries—3,652 this year, according to the women’s charity Agenda—has been compounded by the reduction in spending on mental health wards, the cuts to training budgets for support workers, and the increased social isolation experienced by people with poor mental health. All too often, the warning signs are not picked up until a patient is very ill. Because of the lax reporting requirements on the use of restraint in the sector, it is likely that the available statistics under-report the extent of poor practice.

In a similar case highlighted by the charity Inquest, Surrey dad Terry Smith suffered at the hands of those who owed him a duty of care and he died in an ambulance, following restraint. When his behaviour became worrying, Terry’s family knew that he needed an ambulance; instead, he was met by police who, rather than seeing a vulnerable man in crisis, pursued, restrained, bound and hooded him, and then took him to a police station rather than a hospital. They only called for an ambulance when it was too late.

Seni’s law will strengthen the guidance for police and mental health professionals so that medical emergencies are recognised as such and acted on speedily. The incident occurred before the introduction of body-warn cameras. It was pleasing to hear the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) speak about best practice for body-warn cameras. When the Bill passes into law, it will assist many of our constituents, but it will disproportionately protect the high number of young women who are restrained and the high number of black and ethnic minority patients who suffer the highest number of injuries in mental health facilities.

In my first Adjournment debate, shortly after I entered the House in 2015, I highlighted the desperate need for better resourced, higher-quality mental healthcare in my constituency. This Bill will go some way towards that by bringing more clarity and better reporting standards and it will set the bar higher for police and NHS staff, as well as for mental health advocates, but most importantly it will set the bar higher for those constituents whose pain is often invisible, inexpressible, frightening and overwhelming, and who sadly so often miss out on what we all expect from health carers: clarity of purpose, clear communication, understanding and compassion.

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill

(Report stage: House of Commons)
Philip Davies Excerpts
Friday 15th June 2018

(2 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department of Health and Social Care
Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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15 Jun 2018, 9:30 a.m.

rose—

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con)
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15 Jun 2018, 9:36 a.m.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed), but I want to raise a matter of some importance. Also, I am sorry that I have not given you advance notice of this.

Mr Speaker, you are well regarded for your reputation of championing the rights of Back Benchers, but it has become apparent over the past few days that the rights of Back Benchers in this House are being massively curtailed. The deadline for tabling amendments for Fridays is Tuesday evening, which gives people the opportunity to consider the amendments that have been tabled. The timescale is the same for every Bill’s Report stage.

It has become apparent over the past day or so that the Government have a policy of saying that they will not agree to any amendments tabled unless they have at least eight days in which to consider them and to do a write-round of all Departments. That means that no Back Bencher has an opportunity to have any amendments that they table on Report accepted—the Government will automatically not accept those amendments because they have not had time to consider them. This means that the rights of Back Benchers are being massively curtailed, and also that laws will be passed that are not fit for purpose, because amendments that would otherwise have been accepted by the Government will not have been accepted. Will you look into this matter, Mr Speaker?

It seems to me that if Back Benchers are to have the opportunity to get their amendments accepted, we will need a new regime under which they will have to be tabled at least eight days before a Bill is considered; otherwise, we will have no chance. That would mean that the business of the House would have to be brought forward. Can you also confirm that, for anyone who has taken the time to table amendments to improve this Bill, the only way to have their amendments properly considered would be to ensure that we did not get to the end of our debate on these amendments today, meaning that proceedings would have to be rescheduled for a subsequent day, as that would give the Government time to consider whether to accept the amendments? Is that the only course of action open to a Back Bencher who has spent lots of time trying to improve the legislation?

Mr Speaker
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15 Jun 2018, 9:38 a.m.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point of order, which is a source of some concern to me. Off the top of my head, it seems important to distinguish between two not altogether unrelated but, in important senses, separate matters. One is the question of the selection of amendments; the other is the question of the House’s treatment of them and the opportunity for treatment of them.

So far as selection is concerned, that is, as the hon. Gentleman knows, a matter for the Chair, and I will go about my duty in this matter the way that I have always done. I hope that I do this dispassionately but with a regard for Back Benchers. He and other colleagues will have discovered over the years that the views of the Government are not a matter of any particular interest or concern to me. If I think something should be selected, it will be selected.

Secondly, the hon. Gentleman will probably not be entirely surprised to know that I was not aware of any new intended arrangements being drawn up for the administrative convenience—I use that term non-pejoratively—of the Executive branch. That is not something of which a Whip has notified me. The Government might well think it most convenient to have rather longer, for the reasons that the hon. Gentleman has adduced, but it is not something of which I have been made aware. I think it would be useful to have knowledge of such a matter, but I do not think that anything can be done today. However, it would be a pity if Back Benchers were hampered in any way.

I would just add that in my limited experience—like the hon. Gentleman, I have never served in government, which I say as matter of some considerable pride—Governments are perfectly capable of operating quickly when it is convenient for them to do so, and of operating at a more leisurely pace when it is convenient for them to do so. If the hon. Gentleman is asking whether I have managed to discern the mindset of the Treasury Bench, I can say only two things. First, I have been here only 21 years, which is quite a short time in which to try to discern the mindset of those on the Treasury Bench. Secondly, if the hon. Gentleman were to think that I did understand fully the mindset of those on the Treasury Bench, he would be attributing to me an intellectual weight that I do not claim for myself.

If there are no further points of order for now, perhaps we can proceed with the oration of Mr Steve Reed.

Break in Debate

In conclusion, I am grateful to right hon. and hon. Members for their engagement with the Bill. I appreciate the constructive spirit in which Members have tabled amendments to strengthen further this important legislation. I look forward to the rest of the debate and, I hope, the successful conclusion of the remaining stages.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:02 a.m.

May I start by commending the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed), who is an excellent Member of this House? We clearly do not agree on a lot of things, but he really is an excellent MP. I commend him for two things. First, he has introduced legislation that is of particular interest to him, not least because of what happened to his constituent. He should be commended for doing that, and it goes to show the kind of local MP that he is. It is absolutely right that the tragic case of Olaseni Lewis has prompted him to introduce this legislation, the thrust of which I absolutely support, as he well knows.

Secondly, unlike many Members who promote private Members’ Bills, the hon. Gentleman has engaged in a rather constructive manner with everybody who has tabled amendments. I wish it were always like that—as we know, it often is not—but he has certainly engaged, and I absolutely commend him for that. The way in which he has conducted himself throughout the Bill’s passage through the House does him an enormous amount of credit, and I am grateful to him.

Having said that, there are parts of the Bill on which the hon. Gentleman and I disagree, as he alluded to in his speech. I absolutely support the thrust of what he is trying to achieve, and a great many parts of the Bill will make a considerable difference, but, as with most pieces of legislation, it would be naive to think that it could not be improved. As I said in the point of order that I made earlier, I fear that we are in danger of passing a piece of legislation that everybody in the House knows is not as good as it could and should be, largely because of the paralysis in Government decision making, which means that they do not seem to be able to assess and agree amendments with the speed with which the hon. Gentleman appears to have been able to do so. I suspect that is partly because the civil service appears to have taken the Government hostage in the running of public policy.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Jackie Doyle-Price)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 10:05 a.m.

My hon. Friend is perhaps one of the most passionate Members about defending and championing the interests of Back Benchers, but I remind him of what the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) has just said. The Government have worked with the hon. Gentleman to get his private Member’s Bill into a shape that they can support, while recognising that it is his Bill, and it has been taken forward in consultation with the sector. Rather than blame civil servants and processes, my hon. Friend could acknowledge that we want to take the whole sector with us on this Bill.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:06 a.m.

I am sure we do, which is why I have consulted my local trust, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, about the Bill’s merits, and why I have tabled some amendments as a direct consequence of the discussions that I have had with the trust. I find the idea that only the Government are interested in moving forward with consensus rather offensive. I have been trying to move forward with consensus, too, as the hon. Member for Croydon North knows only too well. We have reached the stage at which the Government are saying, “I wish we’d known about some of these amendments earlier, because in that case we may well have been able to accept them.” What on earth is the point of having a deadline for the tabling of amendments three days beforehand if the Government cannot organise themselves to decide within that timescale whether those amendments should be agreed to? They should operate like most organisations and business do: if they have a timescale to meet, they should meet it, rather than pretend that the timescale is of only passing interest to them.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 10:07 a.m.

This is great fun. I come back to the point that this is a private Member’s Bill and the Government have agreed their position on it. We are not getting in the way of Back-Bench MPs tabling amendments, because although I will articulate the Government’s view on those proposals, it will be for the House of Commons to decide.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:08 a.m.

I am grateful to the Minister for that. I appreciate that we are in a strange situation in which the Government do not have time to decide whether to agree with the amendments, but they certainly have time to write speeches on why they will disagree with them because they are not in a position to accept them. We have got ourselves into a completely farcical situation. The Minister is going to read out the speech that has been prepared to say why she cannot accept the amendments, but we all know that the reason why she cannot accept the amendments is that she does not have the Department organised to get things decided within eight days. As I said, that gives the impression that the Government have been taken hostage by the civil service. The Department of Health and Social Care is probably one of the worst offenders for being taken hostage by its civil servants. I am being charitable in saying that, because I presume that that is why so many socialist, nanny-state proposals come from the Department. I cannot believe that the Ministers actually believe in all that rubbish, so it must be the civil servants who are running the Department if those things are coming forward.

With this Bill, it seems that the civil servants, who never want to accept any amendments tabled by anybody other than themselves, are doing their best to try to stop any improvements to the Bill. It is a shame that we have got ourselves into a farcical situation. The Minister is absolutely right: there is nothing to prevent Members from tabling amendments—we know that because we have tabled them, and we are grateful to you for selecting them, Mr Speaker—but we have got ourselves into a rather farcical situation in which we have done an awful lot of work, and my staff have done an awful lot of work, I might add, to try genuinely to improve the Bill, and then we come across this ridiculous bureaucratic situation, about which I have only just found out with this Bill but which no doubt applies to every Bill. It is important that everyone knows that if Members table amendments at this stage of a Bill, they are wasting their time. It is a completely pointless exercise.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 10:09 a.m.

I do not think that we are wasting our time when we table amendments. Contrary to what my hon. Friend says, I still have faith in the Minister, as I think she believes she is in charge. I believe she comes to this debate with an open mind, and, if, having heard the merits of a particular amendment, she decides that she will allow it, then she will say so from the Dispatch Box.

Let me mention another issue. We often find that because of the constraints on private Members’ business, people say, “We’ll amend it in the Lords.” If the Bill is amended in the Lords, its progress is jeopardised because it then has to come back here again for us to consider the Lords amendments. So in fact the Government should be more assiduous and quick in dealing with amendments to private Members’ Bills than amendments to their own legislation.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:10 a.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, but he is being slightly naive in thinking that we will get some rapid decision making. As, I think, Mr Speaker, you were alluding to in your response to my point of order, the only time that the Government appear to be able to act with speed is when they think they are going to lose a vote. At that point, they seem to be able to react with miraculous speed. We do not seem to need any write-arounds at that point, or eight days of write-arounds; they appear to be able to cobble something together within seconds, particularly if my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) clicks his fingers. They then appear to swoop into action in no time whatsoever. It seems to me that if hon. Members actually want to improve the Bill, they should be busily telling their Whip that if we put these amendments to a vote, they will vote for them—I hope, Mr Speaker, that you will allow some of them to be put to a vote, particularly where the hon. Member for Croydon North says that he actually agrees with them. Perhaps then we might have some rapid decision making after all. We will see, but it has been yet another depressing morning in the history of Parliament for me. I have been here 13 years, but have found out only today how these things work. I started off cynical and I have become even more cynical as time has gone on.

I shall go through the farce of speaking to my amendments, even though we cannot actually make any headway on them. As the hon. Member for Croydon North alluded to, amendments 44 to 78 apply throughout the Bill and change the wording from “use of force” to “use of restraint”. I was encouraged to hear him say that he had originally believed that the term should be the “use of restraint”, but had been persuaded to change it to “use of force” by, I think, the Government.

The comments I make here largely come after consultation with my local Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust. The amendments that I have tabled would ensure that the terminology used in the Bill was correct and in line with that commonly used by mental health trusts. The term “use of force” is predominantly used by police forces in reference to the use of physical force while carrying out their duties. It is important to note that, although the police do play a part in the restraining of patients, it appears that the Bill’s primary focus is on the restraint methods used by staff in a mental health unit. Although we must not forget that the police are on occasion called to assist in the physical restraint of patients, it would be more appropriate to adopt the correct mental health terminology for actions used predominantly by mental health staff in a mental health setting. Not only that, but the use of the word “force” in this regard is somewhat misleading and suggests that the restraint being used on patients is being conducted with a degree of aggression, violence or excessive force, which is simply not the case.

I am told that restraining a patient, particularly in a mental health unit, often involves little to no use of actual force in the sense that most of us would understand it. The term “restraint” has been adopted as common terminology within mental health trusts and covers varying degrees of interaction with a patient. It can be applied, for example, to a person simply holding out a hand to stop someone advancing towards them, or to methods of calming such as simply talking to a patient. They are examples of the use of restraint.

Norman Lamb
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15 Jun 2018, 10:14 a.m.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way. In my experience both from my time as a Minister and from talking to many people in mental health, restraint covers an enormous range of circumstances, from the very light-touch to very considerable force, including pinning people to the floor with face-down restraint, which was the action that led to the tragic death of Olaseni Lewis. It is not right to say that it cannot involve considerable force; it often does.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:14 a.m.

The right hon. Gentleman certainly knows more about this subject than I do, and probably more than anybody in this House, and I commend him for that. Absolutely—I am certainly not saying that the use of restraint never involves the use of excessive force; it absolutely does. My point is that it often does not. To throw all these things in together by using the word “force” is not only not within the terminology generally used in mental health trusts, but slightly misleading given what the norm in this area is.

Kevin Foster Portrait Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con)
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15 Jun 2018, 10:15 a.m.

I am listening with some interest to my hon. Friend’s speech. The purpose of his amendments, as he has said, is to replace the word “force” with “restraint”, and he has just given quite a strong list of things that could be restraint. However, surely the whole purpose of this Bill is to focus on force as we see it defined in other legislation. I know from his doughtiness on issues such as nanny state and cotton wool-style politics that the prospect of talking to people with smiles, which he says could be restraint, is the last thing that we want in this type of Bill.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:16 a.m.

I understand the points that my hon. Friend makes, and I will come on to some of them later on, as they probably sit better with other amendments that have been tabled. I certainly accept his point, and as always, he makes it well.

I am also concerned that using the word “force” might worry people who are thinking about seeking treatment for mental health conditions. If they see that, it might scare them into wondering what may happen to them in some mental health settings. My view is that the word “force” in this case is not appropriate, not sensible and not actually what is generally used. Of course an element of force is used at times to carry out some methods of restraint, but common sense would suggest that the terminology used in the Bill should be what the sector uses.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 10:17 a.m.

When one looks at the drafting of clause 1 (6), references to the use of force are to

“the use of physical, mechanical or chemical restraint”.

Force is being limited there to restraint, except that there is also,

“the isolation of a patient.”

Is it not the case that the drafting is really confusing? It suggests that the only difference between force and restraint is the addition of the isolation of a patient in the definition of use of force.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:18 a.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. He has made the point that I was literally just about to make. The use of force is defined as being physical restraint, mechanical restraint and chemical restraint. I reiterate my earlier point that, quite clearly, the most appropriate term to use is “use of restraint”. That is what the definition of the use of force is in the Bill. It sounds more sinister than it actually is, and that is clearly more appropriate terminology. I have tabled more than 60 amendments, but that point deals with more than 30 of them—about 35—in one fell swoop. I hope that other Members will accept that “use of restraint” is the more appropriate terminology.

Let me move on now to my other amendments. Amendment 9 to clause 5, which is about training on the appropriate use of force, would remove paragraph (c), which is about

“showing respect for diversity generally”.

The hon. Member for Croydon North mentioned that earlier. Restoring the faith of the public in their services is a key element and purpose of this Bill, and why not? We should all have the confidence and reassurance of knowing that when we go to any public service, we will be treated properly. However, when it suggests that illnesses are not diagnosed in proportion to the demographics of our society, I question whether people will draw the wrong conclusion from that. We could question whether anything in our daily lives mirrors social demographics. Of course it does not; it would be absurd to think that it does. What we need to keep in mind is that any illness, and specifically mental illness, is not selective in whom it touches and the outcomes that it can cause. It does not discriminate by people’s ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious belief or gender or in any other way. Mental illness is a very complicated and personal experience, which—as is well documented—can have a harrowing and life-changing effect on those who are directly affected by it, and on the people and families around them.

It has been argued that different ethnic groups have different rates and experiences of mental health problems, with people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in the UK more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and more likely to experience a poor treatment outcome. It is documented that for every 1,000 people of the black/black British population, approximately 41 are in contact with secondary mental health services. What is not mentioned so much is that for every 1,000 people of the white British population, approximately 37 are in contact with the same level of service. In actual numbers, 1.3 million of the total 1.5 million patients in contact with this service are of a white ethnicity, so the use of the ratio format instead of the actual figures over-exaggerates a point that is already not entirely convincing. For example, for every 1,000 people of the Asian/Asian British population, approximately 26 are also receiving secondary mental health care. In actual numbers, this is approximately 69,000 patients—higher than the total of mixed ethnicity and other ethnic groups combined, and 16,000 patients more than the black/black British category.

I do not want to make it sound like a competition for numbers; it clearly is not. These numbers represent people. But the Bill currently makes it appear as though this is an issue that only affects one ethnicity, when that is quite clearly far from the case. The suggestion that there should be a conscious overview of regulating the diagnosis and treatment of a patient not according to their symptoms, but according to their ethnic background, may result in turning it into a competition. By putting in place such measures, the good intentions of stopping ethnic discrimination—the existence of which is already questionable—would instead create discrimination against those who are not of a BAME background or, more specifically, not of black/black British ethnicity. This would therefore generate another problem altogether. In the simplest of terms, asking to provide further intensive training on unconscious bias and diversity, on top of what has already been established at the core of the service that is currently being provided, not only creates an unnecessary segregation among patients but is patronising towards staff to an unwarranted level.

I draw a parallel with the stop-and-search issues in London. It seems to me that a very well-meaning intention to stop a disproportionate number of black people being stopped and searched has led—directly or indirectly—to an increase in the amount of knife crime in London and in the number of people who are dying as a result of knife crime in London. I might add that it is largely young black men who have been the victims of that well-meaning policy.

I fear that mental health staff, rather than being asked to treat people exactly the same irrespective of their backgrounds, may well—directly, indirectly or because they feel some pressure—start to treat people differently as a result. That will have serious consequences. I fear that it is some people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds will who suffer most and not get the treatment they should as a result.

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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15 Jun 2018, 10:19 a.m.

Surely the point about an unconscious bias is that it is unconscious. If we do not collect the data and evidence to show what is happening to a particular group, it will continue to happen because no one has interrogated the data to understand what the problem is. For instance, women are more likely to be restrained than men in mental health services. More women are restrained than men, even though there are more men present in mental health services. If we do not understand why that is happening, we cannot do anything to correct it.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:19 a.m.

I understand the hon. Gentleman’s point and I am not totally unsympathetic towards it. My fear is what will happen as a result of such a measure and the impact on staff, who have a very difficult job. Their job is difficult enough as it is and they do a great job. When we are passing legislation like this, it is important to say—at least in passing—how much we appreciate what staff do in many of these places. They are doing their best, often under difficult circumstances and with limited resources. I do not want these people, who are working their socks off, to think that we are trying to kick them in the teeth and tell them that they are not doing a good job. On the whole, they are doing a very good job.

My point is that their job is difficult enough as it is and I fear that it will be made even harder when, in effect, they are subconsciously given the message, “Oh, you’ll want to be careful what you do with different minority groups, because you may be accused of being racist if you’re using restraint on too many people from a particular background.” That is exactly what happened to the police with stop and search, when they were told, “Even though you should be stopping and searching people, don’t bother doing it with somebody from a particular ethnic background, because you might be accused of being racist if, when it’s all totted up, you’ve stopped more black people than white people.” We should not put people in that kind of situation.

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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15 Jun 2018, 10:19 a.m.

But nobody, in this Bill or elsewhere, is advocating proportionality in the way in which restraint is used. We are merely trying to ensure that the factors that may underpin unconscious bias are understood and articulated.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:19 a.m.

The hon. Gentleman’s motives are entirely honourable and decent, and I support them 100%. My fear is about what will happen in practice, because of the evidence of what happened with stop and search in London, to be perfectly honest. Exactly the same thing happened in that case, so it is not as if we have no evidence on which to base this fear. If the hon. Gentleman speaks to police officers, they will tell him that they were petrified of stopping people from a particular ethnic background because they feared they would be castigated for being racist. That is absolutely what happened. All I am saying is that my fear is that that may well happen as a result of this legislation, although I accept that it is not the hon. Gentleman’s intention.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 10:19 a.m.

My hon. Friend is making an excellent point. Is it not also the case that substance and drug abuse has developed enormously, particularly in urban areas, as a result of this misguided policy on stop and search? It is then drug and substance abuse that so often leads to mental health issues.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:27 a.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to draw that comparison. It goes to show that well-meaning initiatives can often have the exact opposite result to what was intended.

In addition, diversity training programmes do not show any particular progress in the area that they are trying to improve. In fact, they have often proved to have the opposite effect. In a 2016 edition of the Harvard Business Review, an article entitled “Why Diversity Programs Fail” states:

“It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity programs aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies are basically doubling down on the same approaches they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make things worse, not better.”

The article says that companies have been heavily reliant on diversity training to reduce workplace bias, and bias during the recruitment process and employee promotions. It also says that studies have shown that this consistent and forceful approach to tackling diversity can

“activate bias rather than stamp it out.”

The article points out that social studies have found that people too often rebel against rules in a bid to assert their autonomy, and argues that companies—in our case, public services—will see far better results when they drop control tactics to make people conform. Even eminent people at Harvard are not particularly convinced that such a measure would have the result that the hon. Member for Croydon North intends.

On top of that, there are so many variations of diversity these days that there is a vast array of specifics to cover. For example, to my knowledge there are at least 71 variations of gender. I have a list here, but I will not test the patience of the House by reading them all out. Hon. Members who thought that there were only two genders are, I am afraid, well behind the times; there were 71 at the last count. I am sure that my hon. Friend the Member for Walsall North (Eddie Hughes) knows about this, as an esteemed member of the Women and Equalities Committee. I am sure that he can reel them all off from the top of his head, but most people could not.

Then we get on to the variations of religion that could be discussed. There are estimated to be approximately 4,200 different religions around the world, going far beyond those commonly observed in the UK. They include beliefs such as mysticism, paganism—which has, I think, 47 variants within it—Raëlism, Judaism, the ghost dance movement, chaos magic, and the happy science movement. The one that I personally liked most of all—I had not heard of it before but I am thinking about becoming a convert to it—is the Prince Philip movement. Being a great fan of Prince Philip, that sounds to me like a marvellous organisation.

Matt Warman Portrait Matt Warman (Boston and Skegness) (Con)
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15 Jun 2018, 10:30 a.m.

I too am obviously a great fan of Prince Philip. In talking about his fears, my hon. Friend is, while of course still being orderly, discussing matters that go some way from the central intention of this Bill. Does he share my fear that some of his concerns might risk derailing what is, at its heart, a very important and sensible measure that we all surely, as he has said, support?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:31 a.m.

I cannot accept that at all, Madam Deputy Speaker—it is a delight to see you in the Chair. My amendment is clearly pertinent to the Bill given that I am trying to remove something that is in it. If it was not pertinent, no doubt Mr Speaker would not have selected it. I am afraid that I cannot accept my hon. Friend’s challenge to the authority of the Chair. I am sure, Madam Deputy Speaker, that were I to be out of order, you would be the first to leap to your feet and put me right.

Will all these different religions, genders and all the rest of it be covered in the diversity training that I am trying to remove from the Bill? We cannot ignore the fact that they exist and therefore have as much right, presumably, to be detailed in diversity training as anything else. Let us not forget diversity of ideological beliefs. Will that be covered too? This is a throwaway phrase—one of those things that everybody puts into everything. It is meaningless. There are lots of meaningless things in political discourse: social justice—nobody knows what it is but everyone is in favour of it; sustainable development—we are all in favour of it, but nobody has ever been able to tell me what it actually means; diversity training—let us shove it in as a little part of our Bill, but nobody really knows what it is trying to achieve. I am not entirely sure that there is any point to it, and if there is any point, it will be counterproductive. I cannot accept this aspect of the Bill, and that is why my amendment 9 tries to remove it.

Amendment 10 to clause 5 is about training on appropriate use of force. It would remove paragraph (k) on training on

“ethical issues associated with the use of force.”

I am trying to make sure that legal issues are the focus of the training, not ethical issues. How does one go about taking account of ethical issues in the use of force or restraint? As I said earlier, staff have a very difficult job as it is. When they are focusing on whether they should be using restraint with a particular patient, are we seriously saying that they have to start considering, at that moment, the ethical issues associated with it? Surely this House is about making sure that people act within the framework of the law, not about what I, the hon. Member for Croydon North or somebody else thinks are the relevant ethical issues. How do we decide what the ethical issues are that people should be considering? The ethical issue that I might think is particularly pertinent may be different from the one my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Sir Christopher Chope) or the hon. Member for Croydon North thinks pertinent. What sort of a situation are we putting staff in when they have to be thinking about the ethical issues, as intended in this Bill? I would not be able to explain that to them. We should be removing these bits of flim-flam from the Bill and making sure that we are instead asking people to follow a legal framework.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 10:35 a.m.

As always, my hon. Friend is making an excellent point. In his extensive research, has he been able to ascertain the source of the support for the flim-flam that he is describing with regard to the use of the word “ethical”? The Minister said earlier that the Bill has the support of all stakeholders—I do not think she used that word, but she might have chosen to do so. Where is the evidence that the stakeholders are behind the use of ethical issues being part of the training?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:36 a.m.

I am afraid I cannot answer my hon. Friend’s question. I do not know. The Minister was absolutely right to highlight the fact that although stakeholders do welcome this Bill, it would be wrong to say that they welcome every provision within it. That is certainly the feedback that I have had from my local care trust. While it certainly agrees with the thrust of the Bill and many of its provisions, there are still some it is not comfortable with. I cannot tell my hon. Friend about the genesis of this or any widespread level of support for it, because I am not aware of it. Perhaps the hon. Member for Croydon North or the Minister can help out. All I can say is that that definition of “ethical” is

“relating to moral principles or the branch of knowledge dealing with these”.

I am not sure whether my hon. Friend is any more enlightened by that definition that members of staff may have to take into account. I have no idea what it all means, to be perfectly honest, and yet we are expecting members of staff who are dealing with patients in difficult situations to be weighing up all these things.

I think it can be established that everyone has their own individual take on morals, but surely we cannot start applying ethical and moral views in serious situations such as these. This will end up being the beginning of a long list of other factors that it will be demanded people be mindful of. My view is that healthcare should be provided in a legal and law-abiding way, and not with the addition of anybody’s personal, individual ethical take on what is moral and not moral.

Eddie Hughes Portrait Eddie Hughes (Walsall North) (Con)
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15 Jun 2018, 10:37 a.m.

My hon. Friend is making a fascinating speech that seems to be very well researched. Given that he considers this to be flim-flam, if there were other elements of law surrounding this topic that included the use of the term “ethics” or “ethical”, might this need to be included in order to satisfy some type of uniformity across different pieces of legislation?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:38 a.m.

My hon. Friend may well be right; I do not know. I have not been able to find any evidence for that, but it may exist somewhere. Perhaps the promoter of the Bill or the Minister will be able to enlighten us. If my hon. Friend has any evidence, I would be very happy to change my mind, but as it is, I cannot see any purpose to the provision.

The general thrust of my argument is that while this Bill should indeed be making staff and institutions accountable, it should also be helping them in their daily job, but it is making their life far more difficult than need be. I do not see that it is helping to protect the rights of patients, which is at the heart of what it is supposed to do.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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My hon. Friend has referred to the definition of “ethics” and “ethical”. Paragraph (k), to which he is addressing his remarks, talks about the “principal” ethical issues—not all ethical issues but the “principal” ones. Does he have any insight into which ethical issues are “principal” and which are not?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, midnight

My hon. Friend makes a good point. I do not know the answer to that—who knows? It is a mystery to me, and therefore it will almost certainly be a mystery to any institutions trying to implement these measures. We have to bear in mind that this is not just meaningless. This will be the law of the land. Institutions and members of staff could well be taken to court over whether they have sufficiently taken into account these “principal” ethical issues. Surely it would be intolerable to put people in that legal uncertainty. I am not entirely sure that we, the people who are passing this piece of legislation, have any idea what it means ourselves, so how on earth are the people who are supposed to implement this meant to?

Surely laws have to be fit for purpose. I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch is an eminent lawyer by background, and no doubt his profession will be dancing in the aisles at the prospect of all this uncertainty, because they are the only people who will benefit. The patients will not benefit, the staff certainly will not benefit, and the institutions will not benefit, because they will probably find themselves facing expensive legal suits. Unless this is simply a benefit for the legal profession, I cannot see any point to it whatsoever.

I am confident of scoring a few more runs on amendment 11, because the hon. Member for Croydon North indicated that he supported it. As I indicated to Mr Speaker at the start, I may wish to press the amendment to a Division and test the will of the House on this matter. The amendment would insert new paragraph (l) in clause 5(2), which relates to training in the appropriate use of force, to include training for mental health staff about who is responsible, and the roles and procedure when the police are called to assist.

Some people may say—I would not necessarily dismiss this out of hand—that clause 5 is already too prescriptive. There is an argument for saying that we should take out this detailed list of things that people should be trained in and effectively leave it to institutions and local experts to sort out training for themselves, rather than putting every little element of what that training should consist of in statute. There is certainly an argument for saying that we should get rid of all these areas of training that are prescribed. Of course, the problem with prescribing everything is that what will happen is that everything prescribed will be covered, but nothing else will be. Something may well have been missed out from the list, but if it is not on the list, institutions will not bother with it. That is my problem. Given that we are prescribing so much, it is essential that we get those things right, otherwise important things will be missed in the training. It seems to me that we go one of two ways: either we do not prescribe any of it; or we prescribe everything, because otherwise things will be missed out.

Norman Lamb
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15 Jun 2018, midnight

I suspect that the hon. Gentleman and I agree that it is really important to protect the individual against the overbearing power of the state, and the Bill is primarily about achieving that—protecting individuals who are often in very vulnerable positions against the potential misuse of power. Giving some detail about what the training must cover, so as to ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity, and their rights are protected, is surely something that he agrees is rather important.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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Absolutely I do—I am not sure that anyone would disagree with that. The issue is how we best ensure that the training is comprehensive and covers the necessary areas. My point is that there are two ways of doing that in law. One option is to simply say that training should be given and effectively leave it to the experts in the field to determine what that should cover. The Bill has gone a different way—I am not saying that it is necessarily wrong; we can argue it both ways—by literally prescribing in law what should be covered in that training.

Given that we are going down that route, it is essential that we include the things that are missing from that list, because if we do not include them, institutions will look at what it is their legal responsibility to cover, and then cover all those things, and that will be it. They will not cover anything else, because they will presume, not unreasonably, that what has been produced for them is an exhaustive list of what should be covered. My amendments 11 and 12 merely highlight that essential things to cover have been missed off the list.

When the hon. Member for Croydon North opened the batting, he kindly agreed that the things specified in amendments 11 and 12 are important and should be included in the training, and that he therefore supported them. His issue with including them in the Bill arose from the suggestion that they could be simply covered in guidance. The Minister might have something to say about that, but I do not understand this. It appears that the Government do not have the authority to agree to put these things in the Bill, but miraculously do have the authority to agree that they should go into guidance. If they have the authority to agree that these things should go into guidance, why on earth do they not have the authority to agree that they should go in the Bill? It makes no sense to me, but that is the beauty of the establishment.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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15 Jun 2018, midnight

I advise my hon. Friend that the guidance we will issue on the Bill will be subject to consultation. I fully anticipate that we can pick up the themes mentioned in his amendments as part of that consultation.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:49 a.m.

I am grateful to the Minister. As I suggested, the Government have the authority to put these things in guidance, but not in the Bill. I do not understand that, but there you go, Madam Deputy Speaker—that is the vagaries of the establishment and the Executive for you.

The point that I want the hon. Member for Croydon North to note, given that this is his Bill, is that if we have 11 things in statute, putting two others in guidance does not really cut the mustard, because they will not be statute but guidance. Institutions will focus on what is in the law and what they can be taken to court for if they do not act properly. We cannot have a pick-and-mix effort, with some of these things in law and some in guidance because, by definition, the things that are in guidance are clearly not as important as those in law. My contention is that the matters specified in amendments 11 and 12, with which the hon. Gentleman said he agreed, are so important that they should be part of the list that goes into law. Guidance just is not good enough; it is not acceptable.

Amendment 11 would include in the Bill training for mental health staff on who is responsible, and on roles and procedures when the police are called to assist. The amendment would ensure that we have a structured approach regarding the involvement of the police when restraining a patient, and it goes to the heart of one of the purposes behind the Bill. This is one of the reasons why the hon. Member for Croydon North brought forward the Bill in the first place, in my opinion, so it would be extraordinary if the Bill did not include training on the thing that is central to it. The amendment stems from that inspiration.

The hon. Gentleman has detailed on several occasions in the Chamber the case of his constituent, Olaseni Lewis, and the treatment he received in the lead-up to his death. On reading through the inquest into Mr Lewis’s death, alongside the coroner’s report, a number of things stood out to me, but predominantly the fact—I believe it can be agreed—that the entire scenario that took place on the evening of his death was a mess. It was a shambles, and it should not have happened. There seemed to be a sudden shedding of responsibility from the medical staff to the police, which I believe caused the quality of medical care that Mr Lewis received to be compromised.

What I find most disturbing is that the police seem to be blamed for Mr Lewis’s death, yet his cause of death was identified by the coroner as medical negligence. I therefore ask what responsibility medical staff have in such events and what responsibility the police have. That is fundamental to this particular case behind the Bill. Common sense suggests that if a patient is in a medical unit and experiencing an episode of mental illness, the priority is for medical staff to control the situation, due to the cause of the situation being medical, and the police are purely there to assist in giving someone appropriate medical care and treatment.

An interesting case is that of the former premier league footballer, Dalian Atkinson, who died in the early hours of Monday 15 August 2016. Police were called to attend a report of concern for safety. Neighbours had reported that Mr Atkinson was banging on and kicking his father’s front door after

“flying into a booze-fuelled rage”.

They had also reported that Mr Atkinson was trying to enter his father’s property because he claimed that he was homeless. Mr Atkinson’s father, who was not the person who called the police, stated of his son:

“I don’t know if he was drunk or on drugs but he was very agitated and his mind was upset…He was threatening and very upset.”

At the time of the incident, Mr Atkinson was reported to have been suffering for some time from a series of illnesses that left him in a fragile state, with a weakened heart. Alongside pneumonia and liver problems, Mr Atkinson was also said to have undergone dialysis for kidney failure and to be battling depression. Mr Atkinson’s brother Kenroy stated that, on the night of his death, Mr Atkinson

“had a tube in his shoulder for the dialysis”,

which he had removed himself, leaving him “covered in blood”. He also said that his brother had attacked their father, who was 85, and held him by the throat, telling him that he was going to kill him. He told their father that he had already killed his sister and another of his brothers, which was not true.

What makes Mr Atkinson’s case different from Mr Lewis’s is that, instead of force from person-to-person contact, Mr Atkinson was subject to the use of a Taser gun. With a combination of multiple health issues and a weak heart, this caused him to suffer cardiac arrest, which subsequently caused his death. In the days following his death, Mr Atkinson’s nephew, Fabian Atkinson, said of his uncle:

“He had some health issues that he was trying to get through and that’s why his heart was weak. When a Taser is deployed, as soon as a Taser is deployed, they need to automatically call an ambulance. How do they know the health of the guy or the girl that they are affecting?”

That is exactly my point.

When the police are called to an incident, they are not aware—they cannot possibly be aware—of a person’s medical history. There is no briefing beforehand, because that is simply not possible when they are put into an urgent situation. Training is designed to help them attend incidents and de-escalate them quickly and efficiently. The question is: how is it possible for this to be done and for them also to be able to take on the additional task of medical assessment?

It might be assumed, from the medical setting, that there is the reassurance of a medical professional being present to monitor the person’s health. In the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s best practice guidance, the advice is that when a patient is restrained in the emergency department, even if the police are providing that intervention, the ultimate responsibility for the patient’s safety and wellbeing rests with the doctors and nurses of the emergency department. I think that that is absolutely crucial.

I appreciate that those guidelines are for a patient who is taken to an accident and emergency department, while Mr Lewis was in a specialist mental health unit where there were medically trained staff who should have been well versed in such situations. From reading the reports, it seems to me—other people may have a different interpretation—that the staff felt it appropriate to pass responsibility for Mr Lewis’s medical wellbeing to police officers, who are not of course medical professionals. I believe that that was the most detrimental aspect of the last moments of Mr Lewis’s life. That is why this matter should be one of the key focuses of the Bill.

In its memorandum of understanding, “The Police Use of Restraint in Mental Health & Learning Disability Settings”, the College of Policing states:

“People who talked to us wanted mental health staff to be proactive and use their therapeutic skills to de-escalate situations and only call on the police when absolutely necessary…Each situation where the police are called for emergency assistance should be properly assessed on its merits…The police role is the prevention of crime and protection of persons and property from criminal acts.”

This provides a very clear distinction between the responsibilities of the services. In case it was not already apparent, the police are responsible for crime, and the medical staff are responsible for health.

I do not want the police to have to be given a full medical briefing before assisting with the restraint of a patient—in most cases, there simply will not be time—so there needs to be understanding about the co-operation of the medical services and the police, with the medical staff giving direction to the police. I ask that amendment 11 be made to ensure that staff are given clear training to alleviate the possibility of a similar chaotic scenario arising when the police are involved in restraining a patient, and so that they are fully aware that the police are there to assist, not to take over additional responsibilities that the medical staff would otherwise have.

It seems to me that amendment 11 goes to the heart of what the Bill is trying to achieve: to prevent anyone from suffering in the same way as Mr Lewis suffered on that particular occasion. I do not understand how the Bill can be fit for purpose unless it specifically puts that aspect of the training into statute. If it does not cover that, I do not think we are being diligent in making sure that what happened to Mr Lewis is prevented. The hon. Member for Croydon North is quite right to bring that terrible situation to the attention of the House and to try to prevent such a scenario, but the provision in my amendment is what would most help to achieve that, and it is not right that it is not in the Bill. I hope that hon. Members will overcome the bureaucratic nature of the Government and insist that the amendment goes into the Bill. I would like to see that, and the promoter has said that he would also like to see that. It is our job to make the Bill fit for purpose.

Amendment 12 to clause 5—“Training in appropriate use of force”—relates to the same area. It would insert another new paragraph—paragraph (m)—with regard to training on acute behavioural disturbance, which is another really important thing that has been missed out of the list of areas that must be covered in training. The amendment would ensure that there was staff awareness training on acute behaviour disturbance, which can be life threatening when paired with restraint techniques on a patient.

I will again refer to the case of Olaseni Lewis, whose cause of death was detailed by the coroner as hypoxic brain injury caused by restraint in association with acute behavioural disturbance, or ABD. It states in the circumstances of death that Mr Lewis became agitated and fearful, resisting efforts to leave him alone in the seclusion room. Officers restrained him but were unable to regain control. Eventually, Mr Lewis became unconscious and suffered cardiac arrest.

Hypoxic brain injury, or hypoxia, is caused by an interruption to the constant flow of oxygen that the brain requires. The brain uses 20% of the body’s oxygen intake to survive, and that is needed to make use of glucose, which is its main energy source. Interruption of the oxygen supply causes a disturbance in the brain function and will therefore cause immediate and irreversible damage. A person can take as little as 15 seconds to fall unconscious due to a lack of oxygen, and damage begins to take place after four minutes.

Hypoxia is not easily identified at the beginning of an examination since the primary cause is often unrelated to the brain. Common causes can be low blood pressure, heavy blood loss such as a haemorrhage, suffocation, choking, strangulation, asthma attack, drowning, exposure to high altitudes, smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide inhalation, poisoning, drug overdose, electric shock, and predominantly—as was the case with Mr Lewis—cardiac arrest and heart failure. It is the acute behavioural disturbance element, which was referred to by the coroner in Mr Lewis’s case, that I feel would be most beneficial to add to the training, and I want to explore it further.

According to guidelines written by the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine, acute behavioural disturbance may occur secondary to substance misuse, such as intoxication and withdrawal; physical illness, such as following head injury or hypoglycaemia; and psychiatric conditions, including psychotic and personality disorders. Of all the forms of acute behavioural disturbance, excited delirium is the most extreme and potentially life threatening. Similar to abnormal brain function, it can cause a loss of consciousness, confusion, stupor and agitation, which is the contributing factor to causing the characteristic outburst of violence.

The agitation element of the symptoms can stem from several causes, as stated in module 4 of the College of Policing’s personal safety manual. The causes are acute brain inflammation such as meningitis; limited oxygen supply to the brain, such as through acute pneumonia or heart attack; metabolic problems, as diabetes can cause high or low blood sugar levels, both of which can cause severe changes in personality and behaviour—from sleeping to agitation—and can be lethal if untreated; and general illness, in that severe sepsis can cause confusion.

It then goes on to list the symptoms associated with more severe agitation, which are as follows:

“Psychiatric illness…

Acute intoxication with a broad range of drugs or withdrawal from them”

or an

“Acute brain injury (such as a ‘stroke’”

Aside from violent behaviour, other clinical symptoms may include impaired thinking, disorientation, hallucinations, acute onset of paranoia and panic, shouting, unexpected physical strength, sudden tranquillity after frenzied activity or vice versa, high mental and psychological arousal, aggression and hostility, and insensitivity to pain and incapacity.

Reading through the transcripts of the coroner’s court inquest, it is apparent that those symptoms were present in Mr Lewis at the time. He appeared to be demonstrating signs of hyperpyrexia—an extreme fever, usually more than 106°, which one of the police officers on the scene, PC Michael Aldridge, commented on in the inquest. He said:

Break in Debate

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:14 a.m.

I certainly agree with my hon. Friend about the necessity of putting the two amendments in the Bill, and I think that everybody who has been listening to his speech will be of the same opinion. I wonder whether he would be able to tempt the Minister to intervene now and say that, having heard my hon. Friend’s compelling case, the Government will indeed accept amendments 11 and 12.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:10 a.m.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. If the Minister wishes to intervene, I will not stop her.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:10 a.m.

I am happy to give some clarification on the Government’s position on this issue. When I discussed the amendments with my hon. Friend, I emphasised to him that we did not feel that his amendments were necessary. I advise him that a memorandum of understanding about police involvement is already in existence. The Mental Health Act 1983 has been amended to emphasise that people in mental health settings should be in clinical settings with clinical care. The Angiolini report states specifically that agreement should be in place between health partners and police, which emphasises that health takes the lead on the use of force, in line with the principles of the already existing national memorandum of understanding. I say again that I do not believe that my hon. Friend’s amendments are necessary.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:10 a.m.

There you go, Madam Deputy Speaker. What can you say? The civil service script has been brandished. There is always a reason in the civil service why anything should not be done, but all I can say to the Minister is that, to be perfectly honest, the idea that it is not necessary could apply to every single individual thing that is already listed. If we wanted to go down that line, we could say that all these things are being done anyway individually by this person or that person. Either there has to be a comprehensive list of things that the Government feel are essential, which must be covered in the training, or they do not. How on earth, knowing what happened to Mr Lewis and in the other cases that I have mentioned, can anybody stand up and say, “Having listened to that, we do not think these things are absolutely necessary.”? It is literally beyond belief. We literally could not make it up. It is a shameful situation that we have got ourselves into, to be perfectly honest. I will let people decide which side they are on. I hope that we can test the will of the House on those amendments, so we can see what people make of them and whether they want to be in the civil service box of deciding that nothing needs to be done, having listened to those cases. We will let the House make its mind up, and that is that.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Looking at the amendments on what should be in the training, has my hon. Friend had a chance to look at my amendment 98? It would introduce into clause 5(2)(a) the involvement of “patients” and “their families” in the planning, development and delivery of care and treatment. It seems that with the cases that he has cited, family involvement can be crucial, and this should also be part of the training.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:10 a.m.

The answer to my hon. Friend’s question is yes—I have looked at his amendment and agree with it. If he would allow me, I had planned to go through my amendments first, before moving on to other people’s. I have his amendment in my sights and I will come to it later. I have read it and very much agree with him.

My next amendment—amendment 14—moves us on to clause 7(2), which states that reporting the use of force

“does not apply…where the use of force is negligible”.

My proposal would amend it to include restraint that does not include physical contact. The amendment would ensure that there is a not a series of pointless recording of every interaction with a patient that falls under the category of restraint. I am still using the word “restraint”, but I am appreciate that I am in danger, at the end of these amendments, of losing the battle, and that it will be called “force”. However, for the purposes of putting forward my amendments, I will still call it “restraint”, as I am seeking to do. Restraint is defined in the dictionary as the

“deprivation or restriction of liberty or freedom of action or movement”.

It must be reiterated, however, that it can be conducted in the most subtle of ways. The law entitles people to freedom of movement provided that they are not harming others or themselves while exercising that right. The policies of NHS services vary between trusts. Overall, the guidance for all medical staff follows the same basic principles, but specific details are more varied.

It would be fair to say that health trusts across the board consider physical restraint to be a last resort that should be used only following the exhaustion of all other methods. Staff are advised to call for the assistance of security when physical restraint is considered, as they will have been trained in restraint techniques. Bradford District Care Trust advises that the assistance of police be called upon only as a final resort when usual restraint methods have failed and there is a serious concern for the safety of the patient, staff or other patients on the ward. I have been told that as a general rule a patient would have to be exhibiting sustained high levels of physical aggression, often involving some kind of weapon, before the police were called.

Some services, such as the London Ambulance Service, apply a different approach and advise that police be called at the earliest sign of physical restraint being required. That is due to the service not providing its staff with training in physical restraint and therefore leaving them vulnerable without the back-up of police services. In all cases of restraint, staff are required to apply the principle of using the least restrictive and most proportionate option to control behaviour, for the least time possible. Again, the word “proportionate” is reiterated through the guidelines on restraint, which reminds us that it is consistently a consideration when restraint is conducted.

The types of restraint fall into three categories: low-level restraint—interventions that prevent a person from behaving in a way that threatens to cause harm to themselves, others or trust property and/or equipment; physical restraint—any manually applied method, be it physical, mechanical, material or equipment, that immobilises or reduces the ability of a person to move their arms, legs, body or head freely; and chemical restraint—a drug or medication used to manage a patient’s extremely violent or aggressive behaviour that can be administered, if necessary, against the patient’s wishes. Such drugs might, of course, also be used when the threat of harm is less immediate, with the patient’s consent, or if it is in the assessed best interests of a patient who lacks capacity.

Low-level or psychological restraint methods are the initial exercises conducted to try to prevent a situation from escalating quickly. Most often, this will be a variation of calming methods, which are less restrictive than methods in other categories, and which can ultimately allow the patient to have a timeout in isolation to calm down. Essentially, that can be as simple as telling someone not to do something or depriving them of equipment or possessions that may enable them to do what they otherwise would do—for example, removing glasses, hearing aids and mobility aids. It is less invasive and more frequently used with those who suffer with dementia.

Those less invasive approaches to patients allow them to retain a certain element of control over the outcome, but it is precisely those approaches that I fear will fall through the loophole of being constantly recorded, which will take the time of carers and care trusts away from the patients who actually need help. The key restraint methods the Bill is concerned with are those that require an element of physical contact, which should be reported appropriately. It is important that we remove the need to report minor interventions, which are not really at the heart of the Bill.

In the interests of time, I will group the next few amendments together. Amendment 15 to clause 7, on recording the use of force, would remove paragraph (k). Amendment 17 to the same clause would remove subsections (9) and (10), which require the recording of relevant characteristics of the patient—race, sexuality and so on. Amendments 21 to 30 are to clause 7 and amendment 31 is to clause 8, on statistics prepared by mental health institutions. Amendment 21 would insert new paragraph (q), which would add

“the relevant characteristics of the staff involved (if known)”

to the list of relevant characteristics in subsection (9). The other amendments would change the list to include the relevant characteristics of both patients and staff, make the list plural to cover both patients and staff and include the relevant characteristics of the staff involved.

Amendments 32 to 35 to clause 7 would remove paragraphs (c), (e), (f) and (h), which deal with a patient’s marriage status, race, religion and sexual orientation. Those amendments would remove such unnecessary labelling of patients. I am not one for putting people into categories, and I am not a fan of labels. All these things are irrelevant to the treatment of people with mental health problems, and we should not be getting bogged down listing everybody’s gender, race, sexual orientation, marital status and so on. It is all irrelevant to the treatment of people with mental health problems, and we should not be bogging down the staff with all this political correctness.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:25 a.m.

Is it not extraordinary that the list to which my hon. Friend refers makes no reference to whether the patient has any family or relatives?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:26 a.m.

Again my hon. Friend is absolutely right. One could argue that that is important and should be logged. I am sure we would all want to involve the family in discussions about the treatment of family members. That might well have helped in the case of Mr Lewis. Yes, it is extraordinary that the bit that could actually be relevant to the treatment of the patient is not included and all this other stuff, which is completely irrelevant to their treatment, is included. It seems like unnecessary political correctness.

In recording the use of force, the inclusion of race to help tackle racism, of sexuality to tackle homophobia, and of gender to avoid sexism, will do nothing to aid the patients. Surely, if we believe in equality, all those things are irrelevant. We should not be pointing out people’s differences. Those things cannot be changed and are not relevant, and we should not be passing legislation that tries to make them an important part of treating people with mental health conditions.

If we will insist on going down this route, however, I am confused about why the Bill requires only the recording of the patient’s characteristics, and not those of the person giving out the treatment. If there is institutional racism, or whatever it is that people try to hang a hat on, surely the characteristics of the person using the force must be relevant. Surely a complete picture can never be grasped only by recording the characteristics of the patient. If we are trying, as I think the hon. Member for Croydon North is, to uncover unconscious bias, institutional racism, or whatever he wants to call it—people have their different terminology to hang their hat on—surely it cannot be done without amendment 21. He indicated in his opening remarks that he had sympathy with it, and I am grateful to him for that. I hope he agrees that it is not just useful but essential if we are going down this route.

The Bill also asks that the police wear body-worn cameras so as to literally give a full picture of their involvement in these cases. Why are we only reporting one side of the story when the police are not there? If the relevant characteristics of the staff are included in the report, the recorded statistics might give a better representation of the matter. I feel that the provision I suggest in the amendment was not originally added because it might highlight a very different narrative from that which some would like to present. One particular concern I have is that these reports will be used to try and back up the questionable argument of institutional racism in the health service, despite studies showing a lack of early diagnosis of mental health illness and psychosis because of a lack of trust in mental health services among people from BAME communities.

It is consistently documented that BAME patients, particularly those with African and African-Caribbean backgrounds, are more likely to be diagnosed with a form of psychosis, and to enter the mental healthcare system via a more confrontational approach than would be the case through a routine appointment with a GP. That is the basis for the institutional racism argument. However, it should be considered that the suggestion of institutional racism in the mental healthcare system is what is preventing people from seeking early medical help in the first place. It is not helping the situation; it is making the situation worse. People are being told, “Don’t enter these services, because there is institutional racism”, and that is not helping anyone.

The genuine, present issues that need to be addressed are whether patients are being treated early enough in their illnesses, and whether the treatments are sufficient to enable them to sustain mental wellbeing in the future. It strikes me that a huge section of the Bill is bogged down in stuff that is not important at all. I am not sure whether it was just an afterthought—“We’ll lob this in as well”—or whether it was intended to be central to the Bill, but I do not think it will help anyone’s mental health treatment. It will merely help lots of politically correct organisations around the country, which will start stamping their feet and saying that the public sector is institutionally racist. I do not believe that that is the case, and, as I said at the outset, I do not think there is much evidence to suggest that it is.

Break in Debate

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:33 a.m.

I think we have all encountered constituency cases in which people suffering from mental illnesses are shifted from one location to another—from one clinical commissioning group area to another, or from one part of the country to another. In one of my constituency cases, someone is being told that they must go up to Manchester to be treated for a mental condition. If people are being dealt with in different locations, it is all the more important for there to be one set of medical notes that records everything that has happened.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:34 a.m.

That is a very good point. I had not mentioned that people might be moved from one institution to another, but that, of course, makes the amendment even more important. I am not in favour of excessive bureaucracy, but that strikes me as being an essential part of what the Bill is intended to achieve. The purpose of my amendment 16 is to deliver the Bill’s original aim. In fact, that is the theme of all my amendments. They are certainly not intended to weaken the Bill; if anything, they are intended to encourage the hon. Member for Croydon North to go further. The amendment is not just something nice to tag on to the Bill. I think that it goes to the heart of what the Bill should be about. Restraint techniques should be documented in medical notes to provide other medical practitioners who are treating the same patient with an overview of how that individual patient responds to the use of that form of restraint. I cannot see why that should not be part of the Bill.

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:35 a.m.

I am sorry to intervene on the hon. Gentleman—I know that he is trying to be as brief and succinct as he can possibly be. [Laughter.] I take his point about medical records. I—like him, I suspect—believe strongly in patient empowerment, and I think that there is a case for the inclusion of records of restraint in patients’ medical notes. However, I am loth to support changes in the Bill when we have not consulted either patient groups or medical professionals. Given that it is possible to make this change through guidance after the Bill is enacted, if the Minister will give an assurance to that effect, I shall be content to deal with the issue in that way, because that would meet the objective for which the hon. Gentleman is arguing.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:37 a.m.

As I said at the start, I genuinely appreciate the constructive way in which the hon. Gentleman has approached the Bill, and he has just given another indication of that. The question is—this is the dilemma that we always seem to have on a Friday—whether we should rush through legislation that we know is not as it should be, and try to patch up little defects with a bit of sticking plaster here and a bit of sticking plaster there, or whether we should make an effort to ensure that the Bill is in a fit state in the first place.

The hon. Gentleman is arguing—it is a perfectly respectable position to hold—that it is all right to gloss over the fact that lots of really important things are missing and to provide a big sticking plaster called guidance, telling people, “Here is some guidance. We forgot to put this in the Bill, by the way. It should have gone in, but we did not sort it out in time. Parliament couldn’t be bothered to do its job properly, so here is a list of all the things that you should and should not be doing.” That is a perfectly reasonable case to make, but I take the view that when we pass legislation in the House, we should be a bit more mindful of the people who will have to implement it, and make sure that it is fit for purpose the first time round.

It seems to me that it is possible for everyone to be satisfied. The last thing that we want is for the Bill not to go on to the statute book. It is broadly a good piece of legislation—although, as I have explained, I have reservations about it—but I think that we have an opportunity to make it better. We have three options. The first, which is the ideal option, is for the House to put the Bill into proper shape and accept some of my amendments, which I think are clearly necessary. The hon. Gentleman himself accepts that some of them should have been in the Bill originally. Secondly, we can opt for the sticking plaster route: we can cock it all up ourselves, then put a sticking plaster called “guidance” over it and hope that someone will be responsible for sorting it all out. Thirdly, we can give the Bill another slot at a future date so that the Government have time to consider and do their write-rounds, and the hon. Gentleman can do a bit more consultation. Hopefully we can deal with the Bill later in the year, along with some of these amendments—either agreed or not agreed—on the basis of the write-rounds and the consultation. That seems to me to be the most sensible way of going about it.

I think that what is important is for a sensible piece of legislation to go on to the statute book. There are plenty of days left in the current Session on which we could deal with the Bill. Putting everything that should be in the Bill in guidance at the end does not really do it for me. It might do it for the hon. Gentleman, it might do it for the Minister, and it might get us over a little hurdle, but I do not really think that it is the best way to pass legislation in the House.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:38 a.m.

My hon. Friend sets out the three options very clearly, and if we went for the last of them that would give the Government an opportunity to produce the draft guidance so we can see what will be in it. What has concerned me so far is that the Minister has said that quite a lot of the things my hon. Friend and I think should be in the Bill are not necessary, and the Minister is not even saying they should be in the guidance. If we get the draft guidance, we will be able to see where we stand.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:39 a.m.

My hon. Friend is right. The Minister is doing her best; she does not decide the Government’s bureaucratic nonsense of decision-making strategies and all the rest of it. This is not her fault; she is left in a difficult situation, and I am the first to appreciate that. But as my hon. Friend says, at present we are not even getting a guarantee that these things will be in the guidance; we are being told they might be dealt with in the guidance, and even that there is an expectation that they might be. But I have been here long enough; I have been shafted before on private Members’ Bills where I have been promised that an amendment will be tabled in the Lords to deal with something and then it never arrives. So a bird in the hand is certainly worth more than two in the bush, particularly when it comes to Government promises on amendments and guidance in my experience. That is not a party political point; both sides have been guilty of that in the past. I am therefore looking for a bit more than a waft here and a waft there suggesting this might be covered in guidance; I am looking for something a bit more concrete than that. Indeed, I do not think it does the Bill justice if it goes through Parliament when it is not in a fit in a state; we all want to see it in a fit state.

My amendments 18 to 20 to clause 12 relate to police body cameras. I propose to change subsections (1) and (2) to say that police “should…try to”, rather than “must”, take a video recording. I also want to remove subsections (4) and (5) which make police “liable to criminal…proceedings” if they fail to take a video.

As the College of Policing has stated, it is an indisputable fact in today’s society that law enforcement officers carrying out their duties, and the tactics they use, are under greater scrutiny than ever before. That is a good thing, and I am a massive fan of police body-worn cameras; they are fantastic for the interests of justice, and they safeguard the interests of police officers, who often face vexatious complaints. The footage can be produced to show that what they did was absolutely right, which is almost always the case. That is fantastic for the courts, too, because they can see at first hand what actually happened, rather than have to deal with conflicting accounts and have to choose to believe one witness over another and so forth. I am therefore a big fan of body-worn video cameras, and they are often the modern method of detailing interactions with the public by the police. Their aim is to improve the accountability and transparency of police conduct when police officers encounter the public. This is a move that the Home Office highlighted at the time of their launch as being the technology of the future, and as a means to help save police time and improve working practices.

General procedure for using the devices is that they are to be used only for recording encounters with the public and are not to be constantly recording for the duration of a shift. The policy of West Yorkshire Police, which covers my area, on body-worn camera video advises that it is to be used where a degree of investigation or exercising police powers is required unless there is a good reason not to. The rationale for not using body-worn video cameras may need to be explained at a later stage, and justified to a supervisor and/or during court proceedings. The recording must be proportionate, and the effect it may have on individuals and their privacy must be taken into account. It is advised that the cameras be switched on the moment the incident becomes apparent, and in some cases this may be en route for the incident. However, it is stated that officers must announce that they are using the recording equipment in clear wording: for example by saying, “I am wearing and using body-worn video. I just need to tell you that; you are being videoed and audio recorded.” The recordings taken are stored on the camera until they are returned to their docking station at the police station. From there, clips are downloaded and sent to the central system for viewing. These clips cannot be altered, changed or deleted by the officer in any way, which keeps them completely authentic for evidence purposes.

The cameras differ between forces. At present there are a couple of different ones available and their performance is equally varied. Most common among forces, including West Yorkshire Police, are the reveal cameras. The device is rectangular in shape with a large proportion of it being a screen showing the other person that they are being recorded. The camera at the top of it is on a rotating axle so that it can be adjusted and repositioned each time it is used. It also has a switch at the side to flip up and down to switch it on, and that operates a red light that flashes to draw attention to the fact that it is recording. Alongside the flashing, it is also said to make a loud beeping noise for the same purpose as the flashing light, which I have been told is irritating and probably unnecessary. In essence, it is designed to be simple to use at short notice.

Break in Debate

Kevin Foster Portrait Kevin Foster
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:53 a.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way. It is always a pleasure to have an extended opportunity to hear him speak on a Bill. His amendment proposes to replace “must take” with “should consider taking”, when the words “if reasonably practical” are already in the Bill. Similarly, his amendment 19 would introduce the rather vague concept of trying to do something. Hon. Members are usually rather doughty in wanting to take vague provisions out of legislation, but in this case my hon. Friend wants to put some in.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:53 a.m.

I understand the point that my hon. Friend is making. Equally, I am not keen on unnecessarily criminalising decent police officers. My fear, which I know my hon. Friend does not share, is that that could well happen. It could also be the case that the officer would be acquitted following a long disciplinary process and trial. That often happens to police officers, but we should not underestimate the hurt that results from their having to go through all that. I am trying to prevent unnecessary disciplinary and criminal proceedings being taken against police officers.

Kevin Foster Portrait Kevin Foster
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:55 a.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for giving way again. He gave the example of the pilot schemes, and body-worn cameras have led to a reduction in complaints against police of over 90%, which deals with the point he makes.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:54 a.m.

I made it clear that I support and encourage the use of such cameras, but there may be occasions when, for whatever reason, they cannot be used, and the wording says “must”.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:56 a.m.

I completely agree with my hon. Friend’s points. It was precisely to address such concerns that the phrase “if reasonably practicable” was placed on the face of the Bill. To clarify, we do not want the fact that a police officer is not wearing a camera to impede them from doing what is right in this context. My hon. Friend raises concerns about the potential for the criminalisation of police officers, but that is not our intention. The subsections to which he refers are consistent with those in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, and they are there just to remind the police of their obligations. He rightly draws attention to the fact that cameras protect police officers as well as patients. As a force for transparency, they are an effective tool. I reassure my hon. Friend that his concerns are addressed in the Bill.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:57 a.m.

I am grateful to the Minister for that, and I am sure that police officers will be grateful, too. However, I just feel that there are occasions when it may be practicable to wear a camera, but for whatever reason—the pressure, time or the heat of the situation—they forget, and I wonder what will happen in such cases. There could be a situation in which it is practicable for them to wear a camera but, owing to the noises they make and the flashing lights or whatever, they think, “You know what? In this circumstance, I’m unsure I’m going to do that, because it might make this patient worse.” I worry that there are insufficient loopholes, so to speak, for police officers who are trying to do the right thing in difficult situations and that we are in effect trying to make things more difficult for them. I fear that, as a result of this Bill, criminal proceedings will be brought against a police officer that never should have been brought. It is all right to say, “We don’t think that that will happen,” but these things do happen. I want the law to be worded to make that as unlikely as possible. That is my only concern, and we will see whether my fears are realised.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 11:57 a.m.

Is there any evidence to suggest that the police will not want to protect themselves by taking body-worn cameras to such incidents? Why do we need this measure in the Bill at all?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 11:58 a.m.

My hon. Friend makes a good point. The evidence is that police officers are the biggest supporters of body-worn cameras. They are crying out for them and want to use them more often, and they want the cameras to have a longer battery life. I agree that it is entirely unnecessary, so do we need to go down the road of criminalising police officers because they forgot to wear a camera? It might have been entirely practicable, but they may have simply forgotten. Should that really be a criminal offence? I am dubious. We ought to be giving our police officers more support, not trying to make their lives harder.

I have been discussing my amendments, but other right hon. and hon. Members have tabled several amendments, and I want to start on those by discussing new clauses 1 and 2, tabled by the hon. Member for Croydon North. I understand what he is seeking to do, and it was perfectly reasonable for him to say that if there is death at the hands of the police, the Independent Police Complaints Commission—although I think it has a new title these days—will get involved and all the rest of it, so why should other deaths not be subject to a similar procedure? That is a perfectly respectable point, and I have every sympathy with that view.

I contacted my local trust, the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, about these points, and it is worth putting on record the fact that it said:

Break in Debate

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, noon

I look forward to hearing the Minister address that point because I believe that she has proposals on how we take this forward. May I just take this opportunity to welcome to the Chamber Seni Lewis’s parents, Aji and Conrad Lewis? Following the tragic death of their son in 2010, they had to fight for seven years, because of a botched internal investigation, to secure an inquest to find out what had happened to their son and why he had died, and to secure the modicum of justice that surely they, as bereaved parents, deserved right from the start.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:02 p.m.

I am very grateful for that intervention, and I also very much welcome them and salute them for everything they have done in Mr Lewis’s honour. I would just say two things to them. First, they have a fantastic Member of Parliament who has done a great job representing their interests in the House—they should be very proud of their Member of Parliament. Secondly, we are all agreed that it is essential that this House passes laws—through this Bill, we hope—that will ensure that what happened to Mr Lewis will never happen to anybody else ever again. That unites everybody in this debate, whatever our individual views on any particular amendment.

Norman Lamb
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

I am conscious of the fact that the hon. Gentleman has been speaking for two hours. He is raising legitimate points, but I feel passionately that the Bill has to be passed into law, and I know that many other hon. Members share that view. I have a real concern—I do not think this is his intention; I hope it is not—that we could end up with the Bill being talked out today, which would risk it being lost. It would be a tragedy if that happened, and I urge him to allow other Members to contribute to this debate so that we can reach a conclusion.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:03 p.m.

I hear what the right hon. Gentleman says, but clearly he has not heard what I have said. The Bill would not be lost, as he well knows. He has been here long enough to know exactly how procedure works in the House. As the Bill has already started its Report stage, it would very easily slot to the top of the queue on a future date, when it could go through. I hope that it would go through in a better state, once the Government have had time to look at the amendments that they need to consider in order to make the changes to the Bill that the hon. Member for Croydon North has agreed should be made. All I am trying to do is to deliver what the hon. Gentleman wants in the Bill.

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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15 Jun 2018, 12:03 p.m.

Although I agree with the hon. Gentleman that I would like to see changes, I am perfectly happy to accept the Minister’s assurances about dealing with them through guidance.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

We have been around that issue, so I do not intend to revisit it again. The fundamental amendments 11 and 12, which I have addressed at some length, go to the heart of what happened to Mr Lewis on that terrible occasion. They would ensure that training was given to staff to ensure that those things could not happen again. It is therefore essential that those amendments are made to the Bill and that these things are not just dealt with as part of guidance, which may or may not then be covered off by individual trusts. We have a duty to make sure that the things that happened to Mr Lewis are absolutely covered in the training given to staff.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 12:05 p.m.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right not to fall foul of the scaremongering, because we are fortunate to be in a much longer Session than usual, and the Government are still to announce the extra Fridays that will be available to discuss private Members’ Bills. If a Bill such as this is supported by everybody in the Chamber—by the Government and the Opposition—but there is need for further improvement, why not improve the Bill, rather than putting it on the statute book in an imperfect state, given that we know jolly well how difficult it would be to amend it later through a further private Member’s Bill? Let us make this a good Bill.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:06 p.m.

The Bill will definitely conclude its Report stage at some point, but if it does not pass today, it will not be my fault. For goodness’ sake, we still have two and a half hours to go. The Government still have plenty of opportunity to say that they will accept amendments 11 and 12, and if they do so, the Bill will go through today. If they need more time to do a write-around before those amendments can be agreed, that is literally in not my hands, but the Government’s. If they want the Bill to get through today—

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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15 Jun 2018, 12:06 p.m.

rose—

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:06 p.m.

I hope that the Minister is going to make us all happy.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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15 Jun 2018, 12:06 p.m.

My hon. Friend is again mischaracterising the Government’s position. Our position is that the amendments are not necessary. I have already outlined to the House that the specifics of the role and responsibility of police officers on these occasions are subject to a memorandum of understanding on which the College of Policing, which my hon. Friend has praised, has led. I ask him again not to press his amendments, because they are not necessary.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:07 p.m.

Perhaps when the Minister responds to the debate she can tell us which amendments the Government would accept if they could get their write-around sorted out in time—[Interruption.] The Minister indicates “none” from a sedentary position, but that is absolutely not what the Government communicated to me yesterday. They said to me yesterday, “I wish we had seen these amendments earlier.” The Minister’s indication flies in the face of that.

Sarah Jones Portrait Sarah Jones (Croydon Central) (Lab)
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15 Jun 2018, 12:07 p.m.

Members have had six months to table amendments, so perhaps the hon. Gentleman could have speeded up the tabling of his.

I support my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) and his Bill, but there is a suggestion that it needs to be improved, and we must of course all look into what improvements could be made. I should point out, however, that the organisations that support the Bill in its current form include the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Royal College of Nursing, the Care Quality Commission, NHS England, YoungMinds, Mind, Agenda, Rethink Mental Illness, Inquest, the GMB and Unison. With all those very good organisations supporting the Bill, perhaps we can try to make progress today.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:08 p.m.

I do not believe the hon. Lady has been present throughout the debate; had she been, she would have appreciated that we all support the Bill. The hon. Member for Croydon North supports the Bill in its current form, but it has become apparent during the debate that he actually agrees that it would be improved by the inclusion of amendments 11 and 12. It is a question not of whether we support the Bill—we all support it—but of whether we get a Bill that is fit for purpose, and if we pass the best possible Bill. The point is that once these provisions have passed through the House, that will be it: the Bill will move off the House’s agenda, and we will not have another chance to do the great things that the hon. Gentleman is trying to achieve. We have to get it right this time, because otherwise the opportunity will pass. Those two absolutely key bits of training to prevent what happened to Mr Lewis from happening to other people need to be provided for in the Bill. To be perfectly honest, it is blindingly obvious to anybody that they need to be in the Bill.

Will Quince Portrait Will Quince (Colchester) (Con)
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15 Jun 2018, 12:08 p.m.

Are we not in danger of allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good?

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:10 p.m.

On that basis, my hon. Friend is basically saying, “Let’s get a Bill with a nice title, with any old nice-sounding provisions in it, and bang it on to the statute book without any scrutiny whatsoever.” The whole point of Report is to try to improve Bills. I am still confident that people will decide that what I am saying is sensible, because the amendments are sensible improvements to the Bill. It is not my fault that the Government cannot carry out their decision making in time. To address the point raised by the hon. Member for Croydon Central (Sarah Jones), the whole point of requiring amendments to be tabled by Tuesday evening prior to their being debated on Friday is to give people time to consider them.

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

If the hon. Gentleman were generous enough to draw his remarks to a close within a reasonably short period of time, the Minister would be able to put on record how the Government intend to deal with some of the issues that he quite rightly and legitimately raises. My belief is that there are other ways of dealing with them that would allow the Bill to proceed today.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:11 p.m.

Yes, that point has been raised. Basically, we are going to cover everything that is not in the Bill but should be in guidance. It seems that the Minister has made it abundantly clear that she is hardening her position as every minute goes by. We have gone from a situation of her saying, “If only we’d had the amendments earlier, we would have done something about them,” to, “They’re not necessary,” and now to, “We don’t agree with any of them.” The latest indication is that the Government do not agree with any of them.

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Again, I would have appreciated sight of the amendments earlier, not least because we could have had a sensible discussion about how to achieve the outcomes that my hon. Friend wants. I am very clear that we can achieve that through guidance, which we will bring forward in consultation—we have consulted throughout the passage of the Bill—with the sector. I am talking about statutory guidance, and all institutions will need to have regard to it. We are in this position following dialogue with the sector and we have carried out parliamentary scrutiny. The Bill is not the only opportunity to bring forward legislation in this sphere because consultation on Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch legislation and the review of the Mental Health Act 1983 are taking place as we speak. This will not be the only opportunity for my hon. Friend to bring forward legislative proposals.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:13 p.m.

Well, the only problem with that is that we will end up in the same game in which I table an amendment and the Government say that there is not time to do a write-around about it. I do not even follow the Government’s position any more. We have gone from them saying, “We wish we’d had these amendments earlier,” which the Minister has just reiterated, to then saying that they are not necessary—[Interruption.] The Minister says, “No they are not,” and then she says that they will be covered in guidance. Well, if they are not necessary, why would she put them in guidance? We will have to start getting our story straight. Are these things necessary or not?

Jackie Doyle-Price Portrait Jackie Doyle-Price
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15 Jun 2018, 12:13 p.m.

My hon. Friend has been a Member of Parliament for a lot longer than I have, so he will be aware that Bills set out the principles of legislation, and it is standard practice for the detail under a Bill to be enshrined in guidance.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:13 p.m.

But we do not know what will be in this guidance. I am making the case that it is absolutely essential that amendments 11 and 12 are made to the Bill. The hon. Member for Croydon North said quite clearly that he agreed with them and that he also thought they should be made to the Bill. I appreciate that he is trying to find a compromise but, strictly speaking, he would be happy for the provisions to be in the Bill. I think they should be in the Bill; he thinks they should be in the Bill. The Minister has not even made a commitment that these specific amendments would be reflected in the guidance. I am literally being offered nothing, apart from her saying, “Oh, we know this Bill is not good enough. We will try to sort out a bit of guidance here and there. It’s not perfect, but just let it through because it has a worthy sentiment behind it.” We must start treating legislation with a bit more respect in this place. The Minister says that the Bill has gone through parliamentary scrutiny, but this is parliamentary scrutiny. This is the Bill’s Report stage for goodness’ sake.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 9:30 a.m.

The Government’s line seems to be that this legislation is an urgent measure. If it is so urgent, may I ask the Minister—through you, Madam Deputy Speaker—what state the guidance has reached?

Break in Debate

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
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15 Jun 2018, 12:14 p.m.

I invite my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) to ask the Minister whether she agrees that, because of the urgency of this legislation, the guidance is ready in draft form in her office and can be laid before the House tomorrow or in the next couple of weeks. I suspect that the Government have not even begun to draft the guidance, but we need the guidance before this legislation would ever be able to take effect.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 9:30 a.m.

Absolutely. It appears, to me at any rate—I do not know about anyone else—that the Government are just making things up as they go along, desperately trying to get this Bill through in any form whatever. Whether it is good, perfect or indifferent is neither here nor there. They just want to get it through, presumably so that they can say at next questions, “We got the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill through Parliament.” Well, perhaps they just want to pass any old legislation, include a few decent clauses and hope that it will do the job, but I am afraid that is not what this House should be about. It is about saying that we have identified areas where the Bill should be strengthened, and we therefore have a duty to find a way to do that. If the Government will not agree to do it today, I am afraid that we will have to try to ensure that they do it in the future.

I am determined that the Bill will go through in a proper form that will help to stop what happened to Mr Lewis ever happening again. We have to get back to the central reason for the hon. Member for Croydon North introducing this Bill in the first place. The points on which I am focusing are not just useful add-ons here and there; they are at the very heart of the purpose behind the hon. Gentleman’s Bill. I do not really see why he should be so complacent about letting it through without these things being included.

Anyway, hon. Members have tabled amendments that deserve to be scrutinised. The right hon. Member for North Norfolk has tabled quite a few. With amendment 40, he wants to include the threat of force as part of the use of force, so that the threat of restraint would be considered the same as the use of force. I am afraid that I cannot agree with that. We do not want to deter people from warning of the threat of force, when warning of the threat of force may actually stop them having to use it in the first place. I do not really see how the threat of force can be treated in exactly the same way as the use of force. Often, threat of force seems to be a legitimate restraint technique. If staff are not threatening to use force before they actually use it, the use of force might become more likely. I do not agree with that amendment.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 9:30 a.m.

And, of course, every threat of the use of force would have to be recorded, would it not? The threat of force was actually included in the original drafting of the Bill and was taken out in Committee, so I do not understand why the right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) wants to include it again.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:19 p.m.

I agree. The same applies to amendment 41 —also in the name of the right hon. Member for North Norfolk—which would include the “threat of isolation” alongside isolation itself, and to his amendment 42, with which he wants to include the “coercion of a patient”. I am not entirely sure why such an amendment is needed, to be perfectly honest. He includes a definition of coercion in amendment 43, as

“the use or threat of force, with the intention of causing fear, alarm or distress to control a patient’s behaviour or elicit compliance with the application of a use of force.”

I am not really sure what that adds to the Bill, to be perfectly honest. I do not think that anything it does add to the Bill is something that I could support anyway. I think that he is taking these definitions a bit too far given the Bill’s purpose.

The right hon. Gentleman’s amendment 37 would insert into clause 3:

“A policy published under this section must set out that the use of force will only be used without the sole intention of inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation, or subjecting patients to tortuous, inhumane or degrading treatment, or without inflicting punishment or intimidation.”

With regard to using force with

“the sole intention of inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation”,

I look to people who are more legally qualified than me, but surely that must already be illegal. I cannot believe that that can already be lawful in this country. Therefore, this amendment is not necessary either.

Amendment 36 refers to a

“description of each of the methods of restraint that may be used…what steps will taken to reduce and minimise the use of force”

and

“a description of the techniques to be used”.

Paragraph (d) is the worst bit. It refers to

“a commitment to reducing the overall use of force in the mental health unit.”

Would that potentially mean that restraint and force is not being used when it should be used because somebody had a commitment to reduce its overall use? Surely, we should be seeking to make sure that restraint and force are used appropriately—at the right times, in the right situations, with the right patients. As long as that is being done, the number of cases is neither here nor there. It is the appropriateness that matters, not the numbers. This amendment would mean that restraint would not be used when it should be used. The lack of trust in staff in this is something that I cannot possibly support.

Amendment 38 says that

“subsection (1) must include a patient’s right to advocacy and how to access an advocate.”

Again, this may deter staff from using restraint even when it is necessary, thinking that they are going to get into a compensation culture with vexatious legal claims being made against them. We should not be passing laws that encourage that.

Amendment 79 says:

“The Secretary of State must publish quality standards for training”

and

“The Secretary of State may delegate the publication of quality standards for training”.

There is already a requirement to have standards for training; the right hon. Gentleman seems just to want to add the word “quality”. I am not sure that there is any indication that the standards for training would not be of quality anyway. It goes without saying that we want quality standards of training; we do not need to put that into the Bill.

Amendment 80 refers to “trauma-informed care”. I do not have a particular problem with that. Again, it is an issue of how prescriptive we should be in relation to the training. I have already spoken at length about that. The right hon. Gentleman makes some fair points.

The right hon. Gentleman’s other amendments include amendments 83, 84 and 85. Amendment 83 says:

“The Secretary of State must make a statement to Parliament, as soon as practicable following the publication of report under subsection (2).”

It is difficult to disagree with that, to be honest. I do not see why that should not happen. I would be perfectly happy about it.

My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch has also tabled some amendments. His amendment 88 would

“leave out ‘mechanical or chemical’ and insert ‘or mechanical’.”

I think that he wants to get rid of the chemical type of restraint from the Bill. A chemical restraint can be described as a medical restraint to restrict the freedom of movement of a patient. Such chemical restraints can sometimes also be used to sedate a patient if necessary. I think that his amendment is understandable. My only concern is whether it might lead to perverse outcomes whereby chemical means of force are used more often than they should be to get round the Bill. I am a bit nervous that that may happen. I would therefore deter him from pressing ahead with it, although I certainly understand where he is coming from.

Amendment 90 to clause 1 seems to be a consequential amendment, so we do not need to deal with that. Amendment 89 would leave out paragraph (b) from clause 1(6), to remove the isolation of a patient from the list of things referred to by “use of force”. I am much more sympathetic to this amendment, because my hon. Friend makes a good point. I am sure he will express his own opinion when the time comes on why he feels so strongly about that, but my view on first reading is that it is perfectly sensible. Amendment 91 is consequential to that.

Amendment 98 is one to which my hon. Friend referred in an earlier intervention. It would insert the words “and their families” after “patients”, to allow patients and their families to plan, develop and deliver their care and treatment in a mental health unit. This is an excellent amendment. It is essential that families are involved in the treatment of their family members. In many cases, if the family could have been more involved from the start and been able to help and warn what the situation was, such problems and terrible situations would not have happened. It is a very sensible amendment, and I hope that he will pursue it with vigour, because it is really important that we involve family members in treatment.

Amendment 100, which would ensure that guidance is published no later than six months after the Act is passed, is particularly pertinent to the discussions we have been having. My only quibble is that six months may be too long, but I certainly agree with the thrust of it, which is that there should be a time limit.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 10:49 a.m.

It all depends on when the draft guidance is produced. My amendment is referring to the guidance that emerges after any consultation. As I said earlier, I think that the consultation should take place very early, but six months is a maximum.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 10:49 a.m.

My hon. Friend is on to something with that, and I certainly agree. It is quite extraordinary that we do not have the draft guidance already, but I will not go over that again.

Amendment 101 is sensible. It would insert the word “significant” after “any”, to require a record to be kept of any significant use of force on a patient by a member of staff. That is sensible because we do not want to include other things that should not be included. The point I make is that the word “significant” is rather subjective. One person’s “significant” may not be another person’s “significant”, and it might be a bit difficult for trusts and staff to understand what counts as “significant”. My only concern is whether that adds confusion.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

At the moment, clause 7(2) states that subsection (1) does not apply to cases where the use of force is “negligible”. That is refined in subsection (3). I am effectively saying in my amendment that “significant” is non-negligible.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
- Hansard - -

15 Jun 2018, 12:24 p.m.

I hope that my hon. Friend will expand on that later. He makes a good point, and I am broadly sympathetic to it.

I have now gone through the amendments on the amendment paper. Different Members have tabled quite a few amendments, and therefore it takes a bit of time. I would like to think that, like the hon. Member for Croydon North, people have been convinced of the necessity of amendments 11 and 12, which go to the heart of what the Bill is supposed to be about.

Christopher Chope Portrait Sir Christopher Chope
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Some people looking at today’s proceedings may say that my hon. Friend has been speaking for a long time, but we need to remember that when Bills are considered, the amendments are often grouped so that we do not consider all amendments in one discussion. Today, we are considering all the amendments to the Bill in one group, which I think explains why he has spoken for a bit longer than he might sometimes do.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Deputy Speaker (Sir Lindsay Hoyle)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 12:30 p.m.

Order. May I just say that we do not need to be reminded of how long the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies) has spoken? All that does is use up precious time, and I know you would not want to do that, Sir Christopher.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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15 Jun 2018, 12:29 p.m.

My hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch will have noticed that at no point did anybody in the Chair say that I was off-subject, and there were over 100 amendments to consider.

I would like the Government to take responsibility for my amendments 11 and 12, which the hon. Member for Croydon North, the promoter, wants to include in the Bill. I hope that we get the opportunity to test the will of the House on those amendments, especially if he supports them, and we will see what Members make of them. If we do not include amendments 11 and 12 in the Bill, we are doing a really big disservice to the people we are trying to help and we are doing a disservice to the honour of Mr Lewis, which is what the hon. Gentleman’s Bill is all about. Those two amendments go to the heart of what he is trying to achieve with his Bill, and I hope that Members will reflect on that before we vote on them.

Norman Lamb
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

15 Jun 2018, 12:30 p.m.

In speaking today, including about the amendments I have tabled, I take a different view from that of the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies), in that I want the Bill to proceed. It is not perfect—there are things that I think should be included, which is why I have tabled amendments—but it is more important to get on the statute book this very important staging post in changing the culture in many mental health trusts than to delay it further.

I congratulate the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed), who has done a brilliant job in advocating the case for this reform, as he has in his advocacy on behalf of Mr and Mrs Lewis. It is an enormous pleasure to support him today in that endeavour. I particularly note the role that Mr and Mrs Lewis, who are present in the Gallery today, have played in all of this. They have fought their campaign with enormous dignity and with absolute determination to secure justice for the loss of their dear son. They have had a willing Member of Parliament working with them, but if the Bill reaches the statute book, it will be to their enormous credit for the battle they have fought, and we should all applaud them for the contribution they have made in achieving that.

I met Mr and Mrs Lewis when I was the Minister responsible for mental health. I remember a debate in this place in which the hon. Gentleman raised their case. I was horrified by what I heard while sitting on the Front Bench, and I agreed to meet them. I met Mr and Mrs Lewis in my parliamentary office, and I took up their concerns with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, because the case did not appear to me to have been properly investigated. They have continued to fight stoically for justice, and I pay enormous tribute to them for doing so.

My interest in this issue as a Minister arose back in 2013, when Mind did a survey showing that the use of force—I use that term advisedly—was endemic across in-patient mental health settings around the country. Not only that, but the use of force varied incredibly from one unit to another, without any apparent justification. As a result of the Mind survey, I decided that we had to review the guidance. In due course, that led to the non-statutory guidance on “Positive and Proactive Care”, which was issued in 2014.

The purpose of the guidance was to end the use of face-down restraint, which was the sort of restraint used on Seni Lewis. At the time, I was confronted by a lot of people in the sector who said, “You’re not being realistic. You can’t reduce force. You can’t stop the use of face-down restraint, because we deal with very difficult circumstances.” Yet when I listened to progressive practitioners who had worked in such units, they demonstrated that we could end the use of inappropriate forms of restraint. Tim Kendall, national clinical director for mental health, announced that his unit in Sheffield would end the use of face-down restraint, and it did. If those progressive practitioners can do that, others can as well. I was frustrated that guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2015 in some ways contradicted the 2014 guidance by not ruling out the use of face-down restraint. I think that was a big mistake by NICE. I realise its independence, but I question its methodology in reaching that conclusion.

Why is this issue so important? It is because many people, not only Olaseni Lewis, have lost their lives as a result of the use of face-down restraint in mental health settings. Along with those awful losses of life, too many people who experience the use of restraint see and feel it as an assault on them. In many cases, people have experienced abuse earlier in their lives, including sexual abuse, sometimes as children. For a woman in a mental health setting, to be held to the floor by several men who are acting to restrain her is likely to make her experience an extraordinary sense of trauma. In many cases that results in a loss of trust between staff and patients. Units that have confronted the culture of a heavy use of force have found that when time is used for creative activity, that reduces the need for force to be used in the first place. Staff end up being safer, as well as patients in their unit, and the unit becomes a more therapeutic environment and everyone benefits.

The bottom line is that since the 2014 guidance there has been very little change—that is why the Bill is so important. The use of face-down restraint is down a little, but the overall use of restraint appears to be at pretty much the same level. That may in part be due to better recording, but the report in The Observer on Sunday suggested that injuries are up. In 2016-17, 3,652 patients and 2,600 staff were injured as a result of the use of force. In many cases, units have close to 100% occupancy and a heavy use of agency staff. They are under enormous strain and stress, which is not a therapeutic environment for patients, and the use of force becomes almost inevitable because of the strain that everyone is under. That is why training is so important in changing the culture.

Let me deal briefly—briefly!—with my amendments. I tabled them because I wished these important issues to be included in the Bill, and it is a pity that they are not. I do not want to delay the passage of the Bill, so I will not seek to divide the House, but I hope that the Minister will give the strongest possible indication that she supports the issues I seek to raise—I think she probably does.

Clause 1 includes a definition of the “use of force”, and it is important to extend that to cover threats of the use of force, and coercion, which means

“the use or threat of force, with the intention of causing fear, alarm or distress to control a patient’s behaviour or elicit compliance with the application of the use of force”.

Such coercion can be enormously traumatic for individuals who have experienced trauma in their lives, and it is important for that to be recognised in the Bill.

Amendment 37 to clause 3 states that the policy on the use of force

“must set out that the use of force will only be used without the sole intention of inflicting pain, suffering or humiliation, or subjecting patients to tortuous, inhumane or degrading treatment, or without inflicting punishment or intimidation.”

That is in line with the Mental Health Act code of practice and the UN convention against torture. I am pleased that the Minister has indicated that she will deal with that in guidance, but I hope very much that it will be very clear in that guidance. If it had been on the face of the Bill, it would have helped to address the concerns of the special rapporteur on torture.

Amendment 36 would ensure that mental health units committed to reducing the overall use of force—surely that is ultimately the central purpose of the Bill—and it would increase transparency about how they intended to achieve that and what types of force were permissible in the unit. All that is absolutely central to more personalised care whereby people are informed about what might happen to them in in-patient units.

Amendment 38 to clause 4 would ensure that people’s legal rights to advocacy were properly communicated to them in relation to the use of force. People often simply do not know what their rights are, and the amendment would assist by ensuring that they did.

Amendment 79 to clause 5 addresses the importance of training in the appropriate use of force. It makes it clear that the

“Secretary of State must publish quality standards for training”.

That is important because training practices are variable around the country. My preference would be for accredited trainers, so that we know that they meet the right standard and are training staff in the right way. My proposal would at least ensure that there was a national standard that people should abide by.

Amendments 80 and 81 are intended to ensure that training requirements for staff include training in trauma-informed care. That comes back to the absolute importance, when we are caring for people, of recognising the impact that trauma has had on people’s lives. It is great that clause 5(2)(g) covers training on experience of trauma, but it should be strengthened to cover not only the impact of trauma on patients’ mental and physical health, but how the use of force itself can re-traumatise people—the very opposite of what should be happening when they are receiving mental health care and treatment. Trauma-informed care is a model of care that is

“grounded in and directed by a complete understanding of how trauma exposure affects”

a person’s

“neurological, biological, psychological and social development”.

In clause 7, on the recording of the use of force, amendment 39 would improve the transparency and accountability about the use of force by ensuring consistency in the recording of all uses of force, not just those above a threshold set in statutory guidance. The Bill as it stands states that records should not have to cover the “negligible” use of force. I understand entirely why that is in the Bill, but the concern is that guidance will be interpreted differently. That is why the way the guidance is framed will be of critical importance. There is a risk of low-level micro-aggressions—uses of force in a minor way but on a continuing basis below the radar—which can have an impact on people’s wellbeing and their potential for recovery, which is out of step with the Mental Health Act code of practice.

Clause 9 is on the annual report by the Secretary of State. According to the related amendments, the annual report should

“make reference to the annual statistics”

published by NHS Digital, including relevant characteristics, so that we can monitor the ethnicity of people against whom force is used, and they state that the Secretary of State should report on that and that there should be a statement to Parliament.

I do not want to take up any more time. I will end by saying that I absolutely hope that the Bill gets on to the statute book as quickly as possible. I hope that the Minister will respond to it becoming law by going on a drive nationally to proselytise and make the case for a change of culture, so that we can see a radical reduction in the use of force across mental health settings. There are very many inspiring practitioners who have demonstrated how that is possible, but we need to make sure that it is the standard and not the exception. The Minister could go down in history for achieving a dramatic cultural change if she takes the Bill, when it is passed, and really goes out and makes the case for it.

Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Philip Davies Excerpts
Friday 3rd November 2017

(3 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber

Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Bill Main Page
Department of Health and Social Care
Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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3 Nov 2017, 10:02 a.m.

I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. Unfortunately, that is outside the scope of the Bill, but I very much hope it will be in the scope of the wider review the Government are commissioning.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies (Shipley) (Con)
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3 Nov 2017, 10:02 a.m.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the time he gave me to discuss the Bill a few weeks ago. He talks about mental health professionals supporting the Bill. I have spoken to my local care trust in Bradford, which, while it supports much of what is in the Bill, has concerns about some aspects. I therefore wonder how receptive the hon. Gentleman would be to amendments, either in Committee or on Report, that try to address those concerns, or is he determined that the Bill must end up in its current form?

Steve Reed Portrait Mr Reed
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3 Nov 2017, 10:02 a.m.

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his very helpful intervention. The only way to go forward with the Bill is through consensus. I have made it absolutely clear to both Ministers sitting on the Government Front Bench that I want to work with them constructively in Committee, as they have worked with me so far, so that we can secure an outcome that is supported by both sides of the House and right across the profession.

This week, the chief executives of 29 mental health organisations published a letter urging Parliament to back the Bill. It is supported by the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and trade unions representing staff who do such an incredible job working in the mental health services. I must add my thanks to the Minister, the Under-Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Thurrock (Jackie Doyle-Price), for working with me so constructively; as well as my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn), who supported the campaign long before he became the Leader of the Opposition.

Break in Debate

James Cleverly Portrait James Cleverly (Braintree) (Con)
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3 Nov 2017, 12:19 p.m.

I am conscious that it can sometimes be a blight on a Member’s political career to have someone from the other side of the Chamber lavish praise upon them, so I apologise in advance to the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed) because the opening comments of my speech could hang like a political albatross around his neck for some time. I hope he recognises, however, that even if that is the case—I suspect it will not be—the work he has done in bringing forward this private Member’s Bill will more than offset any detriment.

I suspect that when the Bill makes its way through the House and is enacted, people will look back at this as a tipping point. That is exemplified by the first few names on the list of sponsors. It is of great credit to the hon. Gentleman, both as an individual and a parliamentarian, that he is able to get support from all the parties in England and from both sides of the House. The Bill is drafted in a way that makes gaining cross-party support as easy as possible and gives it the best chance of being enacted. At a time of ultra-partisan politics around the globe and when things are proposed specifically to create division and to play games, it is refreshing to see a Bill that is clearly designed to improve and, in many instances, save lives, so I thank him for that.

The Linden Centre in Chelmsford serves my constituency, and I regularly have meetings with its management and with the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. It is clear that the management of that mental health centre are passionate about protecting service users and improving the mental health of the people under their responsibility. I also have a close working relationship with Essex Police, whose officers are also passionate about protecting people. Before I go on, I want to echo the words of my right hon. Friend the Member for Wells (James Heappey)—[Interruption.] He is not yet a right hon. Member.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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3 Nov 2017, 12:22 p.m.

It is only a matter of time.

James Cleverly Portrait James Cleverly
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3 Nov 2017, 12:22 p.m.

It is inevitable. I echo the thanks that my hon. Friend the Member for Wells put on the record to the medical professionals, police and others who work so hard to try to protect people who have either acute or chronic mental health episodes. I would not want any of the conversation about deaths and restraint in mental health units and by police officers and others to be in any way seen as an implicit criticism of them. They do incredibly important work, often in the most difficult and challenging of circumstances.

Break in Debate

Mike Wood Portrait Mike Wood
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3 Nov 2017, 12:46 p.m.

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point, and he is absolutely right. We have seen body cameras used in other scenarios. They help to protect the police as well as those to whom they are responding.

Philip Davies Portrait Philip Davies
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3 Nov 2017, 12:47 p.m.

I agree with everything that my hon. Friend has said, but my understanding is that, in some areas—certainly with some police forces—the issue is that the battery life on some of these cameras is not all that it could be, which means that the cameras might not last long enough in all these circumstances. Does he agree that we need better technology for the battery life before we start insisting on these things being used in all circumstances?

Mike Wood Portrait Mike Wood
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3 Nov 2017, 12:48 p.m.

It is extremely important that we have adequate and appropriate technology. Of course the battery life of these cameras on the frontline is a key part of that. Police using the system being rolled out in the west midlands, which is partly funded through the Home Office, are confident that they can use the cameras from when they are automatically triggered through to when the footage can be uploaded back at the station. As has already been pointed out, research strongly suggests that the use of force is reduced by about half if body cameras are worn. Attacks on police officers are also reduced. In the west midlands, harm to police officers has been reduced by about three quarters since body cameras started being routinely used, and complaints against police officers have fallen by more than 90% when evidence from a body camera is used.

There has been great progress in the area of mental health, but there is still much more that needs to be done. We need a greater focus on mental wellness, prevention, early intervention and ensuring that primary care is in a position to support and treat our patients at an early stage. There will always be occasions when restraint is appropriate and even a small number of circumstances in which the use of force is necessary. That use of force must be properly regulated, registered, controlled and used as a last resort—when no other adequate course of action is available.