Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill
Agenda supports the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill, which aims to reduce the use of restraint in mental health settings.
The Private Member’s Bill was brought forward by Steve Reed MP, and goes to Third Reading on Friday 6th July, giving MPs the final chance to pass it.
Thousands of women and girls are regularly and repeatedly physically restrained in mental health units every year. Not only is restraint frightening and potentially dangerous, it can also retraumatise women and girls who have experienced violence and abuse.
The Bill is also known as ‘Seni’s Law’, named after Steve Reed’s constituent Olaseni Lewis, who died after 11 police officers restrained him in 2010.
The Bill contains measures to:
- Improve training, including on the impact of trauma on a patient’s mental health, and on de-escalation techniques, so practitioners can manage a difficult situation without having to resort to the use of restraint.
- Improve data collection, so we can identify groups which are facing particularly high rates of restraint.
- Increase accountability: every hospital will have a policy on reducing force, and a named senior manager accountable for its implementation.
- Ensure police officers in mental health hospitals wear body cameras.
The Bill was delayed last month after being “talked out” by MPs Philip Davies and Sir Christopher Chope, who blocked the ‘upskirting’ bill on the same day.
To ensure this vital bill passes next Friday, we need at least 100 MPs to attend the debate and support this bill, or we risk losing it entirely.
Please send a message to your local MP using the link below – it could make a real difference to thousands of women and girls.