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Cross border transfers, cross border absconding and cross border visits under mental health law: a factsheet for practitioners

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
5p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

The Commission receives frequent calls on cross-border issues. These relate to planned transfers of patients, cross-border visits and cross-border absconding. Often professionals have difficulty accessing the correct statutory legislation and guidance detailing the information they require. This fact sheet outlines the appropriate sections of the legislation, the regulations and the Scottish Government guidance which relates to cross-border issues and provides links to these under the relevant section for ease of access.

Book Full text available online for free

Working with the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act in care homes: information and guidance for people working in adult care settings

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
24p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

This guidance has been developed to support managers and staff working in registered services for people with mental illness (including dementia), learning disability and other mental disorders in Scotland. It is for anyone employed in caring for an individual who, because that person is not capable of making key decisions about his or her own health and welfare, has become subject to the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) has legal duties in relation to safeguarding the rights of people who are subject to the welfare provisions of the Act. The guidance focuses on issues relating to welfare guardianship and welfare powers of attorney in care homes and other registered care settings.

Book Full text available online for free

Social circumstances reports: good practice guidance on the preparation of social circumstances reports for mental health officers and managers

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
13p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 introduced significant changes relating to the statutory provision of Social Circumstances Reports (SCRs). The Mental Welfare Commission welcomed these changes, which have resulted in an increase of over 50% in the provision of SCRs compared to the number provided under the 1984 Act. The Mental Welfare Commission is concerned about the lack of a strategic approach among most local authorities to assist Mental Health Officers (MHOs) in determining when an SCR should be provided. MHOs need a framework to assist them when using their discretion about whether or not an SCR is produced. The Mental Welfare Commission has identified this area of practice as one where practitioners and managers continue to have difficulty in achieving consistency in the circumstances in which service users, Responsible Medical Officers (RMOs) and the Mental Welfare Commission could expect a report to be prepared. The Mental Welfare Commission has therefore consulted relevant stakeholders and produced guidance on best practice that aims to be of use to practitioners and managers when considering the preparation of a Social Circumstances Report. This guidance may also be of interest to service users, carers, RMOs and advocates.

Book Full text available online for free

Zero tolerance; measured response: responding to violence in mental health or learning disability care settings

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2012
Pagination:
16p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

Although workplace violence is unacceptable, when it relates to mental ill-health within a care setting the issues are complex. Staff may be caught between providing appropriate and sensitive care for people whose mental disorder results in violence, and reporting significant incidents to the police in order to protect the person, other service users and themselves. This guidance looks at best practice in responding to incidents of violence in learning disability and mental health settings. It reflects the findings of a national consultation with a wide range of stakeholders using a number of anonymised case examples. The guidance questions the traditional idea of ‘zero tolerance’ and aims towards developing a more measured response. The 2 essential outcomes from all incidents of violence in mental health and learning disability care settings are: ensuring the safety of all persons; and ensuring that the needs of the person for care and treatment (and the needs of any others affected by the incident, including staff) continue to be met in a safe and appropriate care setting. A number of recommendations are provided on the development of policies in response to violent incidents.

Book Full text available online for free

Mental health of prisoners: themed visit report into prison mental health services in Scotland

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2011
Pagination:
38p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

This report describes findings on the support and treatment that prisoners with a mental disorder receive in the Scottish Prison system. All fifteen prison governors were written to in order to ascertain basic facts about the mental health facilities in each prison and to identify key contacts for the visits. Of the 101 prisoners who were interviewed, 12 were on remand, 28 were short term and 61 were long term prisoners, of whom 25 had life sentences. The experience of prisoners with mental health problems was very variable, many had good experience of services but others had very different stories to tell. Just over half (55%) of the prisoners had negative comments about support received for their mental health difficulties while in prison; experiences seemed to vary even within the same prisons. Many positive aspects to the care and treatment of prisoners with mental health problems in Scottish prisons were found. A number of prisoners were getting better access to a psychiatrist in prison than they were in the community. However, there were at times delays and difficulties in accessing mental health support and poor response from staff, primarily due to lack of mental health nurses.

Book Full text available online for free

Suspension of detention: guidance on best practice when suspending compulsory treatment

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2008
Pagination:
8p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

This is a guide to best practice in the use of suspension of detention under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. A guiding principle of the Act is that care and treatment should be delivered in a way that is least restrictive of the individual’s freedom. Suspension of detention is a key provision that helps to achieve this for individuals who are detained in hospital. It enables the Responsible Medical Officer (RMO) to suspend a person’s detention, to allow greater freedom and a better quality of life, while still providing the care and treatment he or she needs. Examples of situations where suspension of detention may be used include rehabilitation, compassionate visits, and hospital treatments. Generally, suspension of detention must be granted by the RMO for any time the person spends outside the hospital grounds, regardless of the escort arrangements. This guide considers: what is suspension of detention; who suspends detention; what forms should be used; who must be notified; suspension of detention in practice; and special situations.

Book Full text available online for free

Older and wiser: findings from our unannounced visits to NHS continuing care wards

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
16p.
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

A report of visits to 16 continuing care wards across Scotland by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland is presented. Some of the wards were also used to assess individuals’ care needs before they were moved to other care settings. Many of the people who are patients in these wards have dementia, but some have other types of mental illnesses and many have physical illnesses associated with old age. The visits were unannounced and took place in the early evening. Each ward was visited by 2 or 3 Commission staff who met with patients and any relatives or carers who were present. Information given to patients and relatives, the quality of the environment, privacy and dignity, assessment of care needs, awareness of national clinical guidelines, use of life histories, use of restraint, physical health care, and activities are discussed. Key messages for service providers are outlined.

Book Full text available online for free

Working with independent advocates: good practice guide

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2015
Pagination:
17
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

Guidance and case examples to help practitioners understand the role of independent advocacy and provide assistance when dealing with difficult situations. The independent advocate’s role empowers people to play an integral part in decisions about their care and treatment. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 recognises the importance of independent advocacy in supporting people to ‘have their own voice heard in decisions made about their health and wellbeing’ and enshrines the right of access to independent advocacy for people with a ‘mental disorder’ in law. This document sets out: the right to advocacy; principles of legislation; named person; types of advocacy; role of the advocate; supporting people to access advocacy services; welcoming and supporting advocates; and consent, capacity and information sharing. Appendix 1 outlines the types of advocacy, which include individual advocacy, collective advocacy and carer advocacy. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

AWI Act monitoring 2013/2014

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
32
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

An annual statistics report on the use of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. The report examines the geographic variations in the use of welfare guardianship, the age and diagnosis of people placed on guardianship, the duration of guardianship orders applied for by applicant, variations in indefinite orders by age and diagnosis, and geographic variations in orders approved on an indefinite basis. It shows that the number of new and existing orders continued to rise although there was a further significant reduction in the granting of orders on an indefinite basis. The percentage of orders granted where the cause of the adult’s incapacity was dementia fell to 45 per cent, down from 46 per cent the previous year. Conversely, there was an increase from 41 per cent to 44 per cent of orders where the incapacity was caused by a learning disability, reflecting a continuing trend over the past several years where welfare guardianship is being used for an increasingly younger population. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Death in detention monitoring: visit and monitoring report

Author:
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION FOR SCOTLAND
Publisher:
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
Publication year:
2014
Pagination:
11
Place of publication:
Edinburgh

In the year 2012-13, 78 deaths of individuals subject to compulsory treatment were notified to Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. During this period, a total of 6721 individuals were, at some point, subject to compulsory treatment. This paper gives an analysis of these deaths and also sets this number in context of the total number of individuals subject to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the higher mortality rate among individuals known to mental health services. The report includes examples of the deaths reported to the Commission and categorises them according to their causes, including death by natural causes, sudden death with no direct relation to mental health, sudden death with no explanation or possible relation to mental illness or learning disability (or treatment), suicide and death associated to delirium. The data show that individuals who are subject to compulsory treatment are no more likely to die than anyone else who is, or has been, treated for mental illness, learning disability or related conditions. While the death rate in general of individuals with a history of mental health admission is higher, it is not compulsory treatment that is associated with death: it is the presence of mental illness, learning disability and related conditions. (Edited publisher abstract)

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