Ministers urged to eliminate conflict of interest in mental capacity proposals

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Care leaders have urged the Government to eliminate a conflict of interest within its mental capacity reform proposals.

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill continues to attract criticism from care leaders who argue managers with a controlling interest over care and support businesses should not be in charge of processes and decisions to deprive people of their liberty.

Judy Downey, chair of the Relatives & Residents Association said: “The Joint Committee on Human Rights has joined the chorus of disapproval about this Bill.  It has highlighted the fact that the Bill does not meet the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights. Let’s hope that the Government takes notice and urgently redrafts the Bill accordingly.”

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Sector leaders have urged the Government to collaborate to ensure the legislation is right and fit for purpose. The leaders have called on the Government to build on discussions with provider, commissioner and charity representatives last week.

Rhidian Hughes, chief executive of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), said: “We are pleased that Government is now meaningfully beginning to engage with the sector. We still have a number of concerns about the Bill, a significant one being the conflict of interest issues. We see the conflict of interest as a threat to good care for individuals which risks placing providers in an unfair position where their integrity could be questioned because of a badly thought through Bill.”

Martin Green OBE, chief executive of Care England, added: “We want to work jointly with the DHSC and Ministers and we welcome the interest shown by them at our meeting last week. We hope the many detailed items which were discussed have been captured by officials and will now be actioned in terms of Government amendments to the Bill.”

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