Community treatment orders must be implemented in mental health to save lives being ruined by mental illness, a mental health czar has said.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation annual conference, Professor Louis Appleby said: 'The Mental Health Bill [which proposes to introduce CTOs] is not the enemy. CTOs are humane and a way of ensuring people whose lives of made up of continual hospital admissions do not have to continue going in and out of hospital. You will never recover if legislation is restricted and you continue to have continual admissions. Mental health legislation has to reflect the way services have evolved.'

Professor Appleby added that it is now certain that the over-representation of black and minority ethnic groups in mental health services is not caused by racist services or inappropriate diagnoses.

'Mental health services are the end of a long process, including social exclusion, poor educational attainment and poverty,' he said.

'They are the end point of discrimination and adverse experience.'

Discussing another controversial aspect of the Bill, Professor Appleby said that the treatability clause has now been amended to ensure that care must serve a therapeutic purpose.