College welcomes response to the Scottish Mental Health Law Review

Online news, Scotland news
29 June 2023

RCPsych in Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government's response to the Scottish Mental Health Law Review.

The independent review was announced in March 2019 as mental health care in Scotland was underpinned by laws which dated back to 2000 and 2003.

It was decided that these mental health laws should be overhauled to improve the rights and protections for people with mental disorder in Scotland.

The independent review was led by John Scott KC and made more than 200 recommendations. RCPsych was part of the stakeholder group who informed these recommendations.

Now, the Scottish Government has published their response to the final report of the Review which provides insights to the priorities and road map ahead. Highlights include:

  • an increased focus on the rights of people with mental health conditions
  • reform of the Adults With Incapacity Act
  • work on putting new human rights-based approaches into practice and wider improvements in mental health services.

Dr Linda Findlay, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, said:

"We welcome all the work that has gone into this Review.

"We're pleased to see focus on the protection and enhancement of rights for our patients – some of whom are amongst the most vulnerable within society.

"However, it is important not to be complacent as developments in the law need to move forward in order to improve care for those with mental health needs, promote their rights and reflect our values as a society.

"Currently we have rising levels of mental health problems within the population across Scotland with insufficient resources to deliver this care.

"To get this right, the changes proposed by the Review must be accompanied by the financial, workforce, service and social care provision that are necessary to deliver improvement for people across Scotland who are affected by mental health conditions.

"People who experience mental ill health need to receive high quality care in the right place at the right time.

"As the Review is published, we will continue to work with stakeholders including the Scottish Government, people with lived experience and carer groups to achieve this aim."

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