The Mental Health Bill, which was passed by the Scottish Parliament yesterday, requires local authorities and health boards to inform the Commission about how they have made sure that people with mental ill health or learning disability have access to independent advocacy: someone to speak on their behalf.
The Commission will monitor that information, and report on activity across Scotland.
The Bill also gives the Commission new responsibilities related to advance statements. These are documents written by a person with a mental health condition, and are a way of saying how they would like to be treated in future if they are ever unable to make decisions about their treatment. They allow people to influence their own care, but they are not used as often as they could be.
The Bill requires health boards to publicise advance statements, and notify the Commission about what they are doing.
MENTAL WELFARE COMMISSION WELCOMES NEW POWERS
25 June 2015
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland today welcomed new powers which will allow it to do more to protect the rights of people with mental ill health.
Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said;" Independent advocacy and advance statements are both important safeguards that are there to help vulnerable people get their voices heard.”
"We welcome these new powers because they mean that we will, for the first time, have a picture of what is happening across Scotland. We will publish that information, and we will share ideas for best practice so that different areas can learn from each other.”