Psychiatrists last night condemned the government's latest attempt to reform mental health law in England and Wales as "objectionable, unworkable and likely to bring NHS services to their knees".

They were responding to a draft bill from Rosie Winterton, health minister, setting out the biggest overhaul of mental health legislation since the 1950s.
Ms Winterton had been trying for months to broker a compromise between the Home Office's desire to lock up all potentially violent psychopaths and the medical profession's view that mentally ill patients deserved the best possible care.

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