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The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

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02 Advance statements

  • What is an advance statement?
  • What should I put in it?
  • What does the witness do?
  • Who can help me write it?
  • When will it be used?
  • Who should know about it?
  • How can I change it?

Cartoon illustration to support information

What is an advance statement?

If you are ill, it is important that the people who look after you know about:

  • the treatment that works for you
  • the treatment that does not work for you
  • the treatment you do not want
  • why some treatments are better for you than others.

An advance statement lets you put these things in writing. You should write this when you are well enough to say what you want.

Cartoon illustration to support information

What should I put in my advance statement?

Your statement should have:

  • your name and address
  • the treatments you want
  • the treatments you do not want
  • the name and address of your witness
  • the job of your witness
  • the date your statement was witnessed.

You should also include the name and address of:

  • your named person
  • your carer
  • your GP
  • your guardian and welfare attorney if you have one.

[See the example form on pages 13 and 14.]

Named person: someone you choose to look out for you if you have to have treatment. They help to make decisions about your care and treatment.

Guardian: someone appointed by the court to make decisions for you if you are unable to decide for yourself.

Welfare Attorney: someone you choose to decide about your care and treatment if you become ill and cannot decide for yourself.

What does the witness do?

A witness must check and sign your statement. The witness checks that you understand what is in your statement. If they think that you do, they will ask you to sign it. They will also sign it.

Cartoon illustration to support information

Who can be a witness?

A witness can be:

  • a doctor
  • a nurse
  • a lawyer
  • a social worker
  • an occupational therapist
  • a clinical psychologist
  • a supervisor or manager of a care service.

Who can help me write my advance statement?

Another person can write your statement. They must write what you say you want and need. They should not write what they think. People who could help.

  • your family
  • doctor or nurse
  • mental health officer (a specially trained social worker who helps people who have a mental disorder)
  • independent advocate (someone who helps you say what you think about your treatment)
  • Support worker.

When another person has written your statement, the witness makes sure that you agree with it. If they think that you do, they ask you to sign your statement. They also sign it.

Cartoon illustration to support information

Who should know about my advance statement?

You should give a copy to all those who are caring for you. For example:

  • carer
  • family
  • named person
  • doctor
  • nurse
  • guardian
  • welfare attorney
  • independent advocate
  • mental health officer
  • solicitor.

You need to keep a list of everyone who has a copy of your advance statement. If you make any changes you need to tell all the people who have a copy.

When will my advance statement be used?

If you become ill, you may be unable to decide about your treatment. People caring for you should read your advance statement and think about your wishes. It helps them to decide what is best for you.

Ayesha's advance statement says she does not want Medicine XXXXX because it makes her feel ill. When the doctor reads this he/she decides to give Ayesha another medication.

Colin's advance statement says he wants to be given Medicine XXX because he thinks it helps him. The doctor reads this but cannot give Colin this because he/she knows it would not be right for him at this time. The doctor explains why in writing and gives this to Colin and all those caring for him.

How can I change my advance statement?

  • You can review your advance statement

This means you read it and decide if it is still OK for you. It is a good idea to do this every Time Logo 6 months or every Time Logo 12 months. You should also check the list of everyone who has a copy.

  • You can withdraw your advance statement

If you do this, you should write the words:

"I withdraw the advance statement made by me (write your name) on (write the date your statement was witnessed)"

The witness checks that you no longer want your advance statement. They sign and date this. [See the sample form on pages 15 and 16]

  • You can change your advance statement

You need to write a new advance statement and withdraw the old one.
If you do this, the witness checks and signs both of these.

Advance statement

Made Under
The Mental Health (Care And Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

Advance statement Form

Advance statement Form

You should keep a list of the names of everyone who has a copy of this document.

Withdrawal of advance statement

Withdrawal of advance statement Form

Your Witness should complete this part

Withdrawal of advance statement Form

You should keep a list of the names of everyone who has a copy of this document.