December 2014

Mental Health (Scotland) Bill

Jan Todd, member of the Society’s mental health committee, gave oral evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on 18 November.  The bill amends the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.  The Society is concerned that the human rights of mental health patients could be at risk under the proposed new legislation, and that many of the proposals are based on the recommendations of the McManus Committee who conducted a limited review of the 2003 Act in 2009, and that they no longer reflect current needs or practice.  There are particular concerns around patients detained in low security hospitals not being able to appeal against conditions of excessive security; the bill only extends those rights already held by those in high level security hospitals to those in a medium security facility.  It is the Society’s view that this is restrictive and discriminatory and has implications under human rights law.  

Full details of the bill and the Society’s response, and a link to the oral evidence session is on our website.