Information

Consultation on the implementation of certain sections of the Mental Health Act (Scotland) 2015 and Associated regulations (Part 1).

First consultation on the implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 and associated secondary legislation. It focuses on implementation of named persons, advance statements, conflict of interest regulations and safeguards for certain informal patients regulations.


Chapter 3 - Conflict of Interest Regulations

A conflict of interest is when a professional involved in a case might have a personal reason for making a decision. This could mean their decision is not best for the patient.

At the moment, the law is about the examination by a doctor before an order or certificate is created for the first time. The law says that the doctor doing the examination to look at whether the patient needs to be detained in hospital can't be related to the patient, or work for the health care service or hospital where the patient will be kept, if it is a private hospital. This doesn't apply if it is an emergency detention certificate.

We suggest that we should keep these rules in place.

Question 13 - Do you agree with this? Please tell us if you have any different suggestions.

For some orders, the law says that two doctors have to agree that the patient should be detained. The law says there is a conflict of interest if both practitioners work for the same healthcare service or hospital. We think it would be better to say there was only a conflict of interest if both practitioners worked in the same department in the hospital.

Question 14 - Do you agree with this? Please tell us if you have any different suggestions.

The new law also says that there can be rules when there is a medical examination for a decision to keep the patient in hospital for longer, and not just for when the order is created the first time.

Mental Welfare Commission guidance on conflicts of interest say they think it is better for the responsible doctor to arrange for a medical examination by another doctor who does not work for the hospital where the patient is kept, if this is a private hospital. We think this should be the law

Question 15 - Do you agree with this? Please tell us if you have any different suggestions.

Question 16 - For two of these orders, the doctor's recommendation to make the order longer has to be looked at by other people as well. Do you think the rules about conflicts of interest are needed here too?

Question 17 – Are the proposals in Chapter 3 suitable for areas in the countryside where hospitals and second doctors may be further apart than in towns and cities?

Contact

Email: Mental Health Law Team

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