Request for members views: Mental Health (care and treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003: Code of Practice

SIAA has been asked to provide comments for the updating of the Mental Health (care and treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003: Code of Practice Volume 1 & Volume 2. Volume 3 is not being updated at present.

This resource deals with a range of issues relating to the general framework within which the Act operates. The updated codes practice will include the changes due to the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015.

These are the main sections relevant to independent advocacy:

Chapter 6: Patient Representation describes three important issues relating to patient representation: named persons, advance statements, and independent advocacy.

  • Named persons: the chapter begins with a discussion of the right to nominate a named person in accordance with the provisions of Part 17 Chapter 1 of the Act. A named person is entitled to receive certain information about the patient who has nominated them and can act for them in certain circumstances, such as where the Tribunal is determining an application for a compulsory treatment order. It is important to note that the 2015 Act states that an Independent Advocate is a ‘prescribed person’ that can witness the ‘Named Person Nomination’. SIAA would like to highlight that this would be out with the remit of the role of  independent advocates as they would have to ‘assess and declare their opinion’ that the person understands the effect of nominating a named person.
  • Advance statements: the chapter then turns to the subject of advance statements which can be made in accordance with the provisions of sections 275 to 276 of the Act.
  • Independent advocacy: the chapter also describes the patient’s right to access independent advocacy and includes best practice guidance for mental health officers, hospital managers and general practitioners.

Chapter 17: Glossary of Commonly Used Terms features helpful definitions of commonly used terms. SIAA suggests including ‘collective advocacy’ and ‘non-instructed advocacy’ in this glossary.

SIAA would like to hear from members views on this document. If you would like to share your comments, please email your feedback at by 17th February.

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