Published: 17/11/2005 Volume 115 No. 5982 Page 13

The controversial Mental Health Bill may not be put before parliament until the New Year at the earliest. It had been thought the bill could be published this month, but some commentators now believe it could be put back as late as spring. Sources say civil servants are still working on tribunal workforce numbers after mental health campaigners described the government's estimate of required numbers of employees as wholly inadequate. Another late area of work is a race impact assessment: the bill has been criticised for making black and minority ethnic groups who suffer mental health problems more liable to be sectioned or forced into treatment.