Mental Health and Incapacity Legislation (Review)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

I am pleased to hear that Annie Wells welcomes the review of the legislation, which is really important.

As I said at the start of my statement, the issue unites the chamber, and we should all work together on it.

Annie Wells asked several questions; she should forgive me if I miss any. I will deal with the last question first. It would be naive of me to put a timescale on the review at the outset, but we expect that it will take around a year.

Annie Wells made very important points about aftercare. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people who access mental health care do so voluntarily. We need to ensure that the rights of all people who access mental health care are respected. That theme certainly runs through our mental health legislation, and I expect that it will continue to do so.

On guardianship, it is really important that we ensure that, under our adults with incapacity legislation, we encourage people to think early about how to settle their affairs and how to ensure that what they want is respected when they are not in a position to be able to enact their wishes themselves. The review of adults with incapacity legislation and the comprehensive programme of non-legislative changes that will be taken forward will look at additional training programmes and at reviewing the guidance and codes of practice on the power of attorney.