Should learning disability and autism still be covered by the Mental Health Act?

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 10th June 2019

The independent review of Learning Disability and Autism in the Mental Health Act in Scotland has published its stage 1 report.

This independent review was commissioned by Scottish Government to support its consideration of whether learning disability and autism should continue to be conditions covered by the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

The report (this link will take you away from our website) contains experiences and views from people across Scotland who have experienced care under the Mental Health Act, and who have worked with the Act as professionals. It contains perspectives from unpaid carers, from organisations of autistic people or people with learning disability, and from professional organisations.

Andrew Rome, Chair of the review, said: “In stage 1, the review team spoke to people across Scotland with experience of being under the Mental Health Act. Some people told us about how this helped to provide the care that they needed at the time. We did hear of some negative experiences, particularly about being in hospital.”

Stage 2 of the review has been looking at possible options for reform of this Act, to better promote and protect the human rights of these groups of people. During stage 3, the review will seek comment on options for law in an open consultation.

The review’s final report and recommendations will be submitted the Scottish Government’s Minister for Mental Health in December 2019.

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