Approved Medical Practitioners - Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act, 2003 Training Manual

Training material for Approved Medical Practitioners

Section 14. APPENDIX 4 - Risk assessment

Two key criteria have to be considered in risk assessment:

  • The standard criterion for civil detention - 'significant risk to the health, safety, or welfare of the person, or to the safety of any other person'
  • The criterion for a restriction order - 'the risk that as a result of the mental disorder he would commit offences if set at large.'

During risk assessment, it is expected that detailed consideration of the background history (including history of violence and offending, history of mental disorder, suicidal behaviour and psychiatric treatment, and history of drugs and alcohol misuse), as well as any index offence and its circumstances, will be made. Factors that might exacerbate or protect against the risk should also be considered.

Psychiatrists might be expected to use a standardised risk assessment tool when forming a judgement on risk. Many examples of usable risk assessment tools exist, including the modified Sainsbury tool and the Glasgow Risk Screen. Other more detailed risk assessment tools (such as the HCR-20) can be found in forensic psychiatry settings.

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