September 2014

Mental Health (Scotland) Bill

The Mental health and Disability Committee responded to the Scottish Government’s call for evidence on the above Bill.  The committee highlighted the length of time it has taken to produce the Bill on the back of recommendations made in 2009 and whether or not the recommendations still reflect current needs or practice.  It had concerns around the human rights issues the Bill raises, in particular that the Bill does not provide patients detained in a low security hospital the right to appeal against conditions of excessive security, it only extends those rights already held by those in high level security hospitals to those in a medium security facility.   The committee felt that this was restrictive and discriminatory and has implications under human rights law, in particular a person’s right to liberty, a private and family life, freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment and non-discrimination.  The committee also said that the extension of the short term detention period while awaiting the outcome of an application for a compulsory treatment order from 5 to 10 working days was no lobhger necessary and a further encroachment on the patient’s rights. 

Full response can be found on our website