Implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015: consultation, part 2

Second consultation on the implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 focusing on cross-border transfer regulations, regulations relating to absconding patients and transitional and savings provisions.

Chapter 1 - Introduction, objective and scope of consultation


The Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 makes changes to the operation of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 about the treatment of mentally disordered offenders. It also creates a new victim information and representation scheme for victims of some mentally disordered offenders. Two areas of the Act have come into force so far. The first extends the right to appeal against being held in a level of security that is excessive to patients in medium secure units. The second requires Scottish Ministers to review the arrangements for investigating the deaths of patients in hospital for treatment for a mental disorder.

The interaction between the changes in the 2015 Act, related secondary legislation, the Tribunal rules and the statutory Code of Practice, means that we expect the majority of the rest of Parts 1 and 2 of the Act to come into force on a single date in spring 2017.

This is the second consultation on the implementation of the 2015 Act and covers several topics, including regulations relating to cross-border transfers and absconding patients, along with transitional and savings provisions which will set out when individual sections of the 2015 Act come into force and how these provisions relate to existing provisions in the 2003 Act.

A glossary is included at Annex B. The term 'patient' is used throughout this document as this is the legal term used in the 2003 Act.

Objective and Scope

This consultation focuses on specific provisions of the 2015 Act related to cross-border transfer regulations, regulations relating to absconding patients and the transitional and savings provisions for the bulk of parts 1 and 2 of the 2015 Act, including suspension of detention. The aim is to gather views on the proposals for relevant secondary legislation and transitional and savings provisions, and associated work to implement the 2015 Act. Secondary legislation may be required where an Act sets out that Ministers may make provision by regulations, order or rules. Transitional and savings provisions help move from the current law to the new law. This is because in some cases, for example, it would not be practical to move straight from one system to another on the day that the relevant part of the 2015 Act comes into force.

We have set out our proposals for implementing these aspects of the 2015 Act. Our intention is that these should best protect and safeguard the rights of service users and make sure that the system under the 2015 Act provides for efficient and effective treatment.


Chapter 2 seeks your views on proposals about changes to regulations related to cross-border transfer of patients, both as a result of provisions in the 2015 Act and other potential changes to the existing regulations.

Chapter 3 seeks your views on proposals for changes to regulations relating to absconding patients as a result of provisions in the 2015 Act.

Chapter 4 relates to transitional and savings provisions, in particular in relation to suspension of detention provisions.

Chapter 5 seeks your views on the likely impact of these proposals on equalities; children's rights; business and service providers; and privacy. This will inform impact assessments for the implementation of the 2015 Act.

Not all questions will be of interest or relevant for everyone and you are welcome to only respond to those questions or chapters in which interest you.


The consultation will be open from 25 July to 17 October 2016.


Email: Eleanor Stanley,

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