Tory alternative Mental Health Bill

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said that compassion, not coercion, should be the way forward in mental health policy.

Publishing the Conservatives alternative to the Mental Health Bill, Mr Lansley said the focus should be on treatment and compassion and he promised to oppose the existing Mental Health Bill if changes were not made.

He said: "The Government's proposals are about locking people up rather than giving the appropriate medical treatment. At the same time as securing public safety, Conservatives will redress the balance for the care and rights of vulnerable people with severe mental illness."

Key promises include setting narrower criteria for compulsion, separating self-harm from harm to others as grounds for compulsion, promoting "culturally competent care" and reducing stigma and social exclusion.