Mental Health and Capacity Reform: delivery plan October 2023 to April 2025 - easy read

Easy read summary of the initial delivery plan for the Mental Health and Capacity Reform Programme, setting out a range of actions that are either underway or planned in the period up to April 2025.

Mental Health and Capacity Reform Delivery Plan, October 2023 - April 2025

Easy Read

The Mental Health and Capacity Reform Programme at the Scottish Government have made a plan.

The words, we or our in this Easy Read, means the Scottish Government.

Capacity here means the ability to make decisions for yourself.

People who cannot do this are said to not have mental capacity.

Reform means improving something by changing or correcting issues or problems.

A reform aims to make something better than it is right now.

Our plan says what we will do to meet the goals of the Mental Health and Capacity Reform Programme.

We will do this from October 2023 to April 2025.

The plan explains the first steps we will take to improve how human rights are protected and upheld through our laws, policies, and practices.

Policies refer to systems of rules and principles that guide people to make the best possible decisions.

We want to help people live independently.

We want people to have a say in their own care and treatment.

In this first plan, we have looked at work that will be led by the Scottish Government between October 2023 - April 2025.

We have chosen the most important changes that we can do with the resources we have.

We have started to plan for more changes in the future.

We know there is not a lot of money and services are under a lot of pressure.

We know that it is hard to make these changes at a time when many other changes are happening across health and social care.

The plan is an important first step to explain what we are doing now or will do soon to start the programme.

Our plans in the future will involve more people and groups at a local level, like:

  • NHS Health Boards
  • Local Authorities
  • Third sector organisations
  • And others.

Strategic Aim 1: Law Reform

Strategic means a long term and overall aim.

We will work to further realise and uphold human rights in mental health and capacity law.

We will start new work to look at possible changes and improvements to laws.

We will also help to make laws that respect human rights and protect people with mental illness and adults who cannot make decisions for themselves.

We will make the current laws work better.

A main aim during this time is working with others to see how these possible changes will affect the Adults with Incapacity Act.

We will give options that we will ask people about in Summer 2024.

We will also think about some possible changes to the Mental Health Act.

We will look at policy options on changing the definition of Mental Disorder.

A definition tells you the exact meaning of a word or term.

We will look at who can help and protect people who have a Mental Disorder.

Work has started to set up a new working group to look at what Mental Disorder means.

We will also check how new human rights laws, like the Human Rights Bill, will affect our plans to change the laws for mental health and adults with incapacity laws.

Incapacity means people are unable to make decisions for themselves.

This means looking at how United Nations treaties like the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) will be part of our laws in Scotland.

Treaties are written agreements between two or more countries which are legally binding under international law.

The plan includes work to improve the rights of young people when they move to get help under the Adult Support and Protection Act.

Strategic Aim 2: Improving Support

We want to include a human rights culture across mental health and social care services.

We will help to make human rights work for people in practice and make mental health support better.

We will help our workforce to use a human rights-based approach to make services better and safer.

A human rights-based approach is a way of working based on internationally agreed human rights standards.

We will plan to make improvements to the support people can get to make their rights work for them.

We will first look at what is good and what is bad in our current systems of support.

We will work with the people who lead, deliver, and use services to find out what works best.

We will look at how we help people with Supported Decision-Making now.

Supported Decision-Making is how we help people make their own decisions.

We will look at what we need to make sure that best practice is followed when people have problems deciding about their own care and treatment.

A priority will also be to understand how to make it easier for people to get Independent Advocacy.

Independent advocacy is a way for people's voice to be heard, and not being influenced by the views of others.

It helps people have more control over their own lives.

We will look at ways people can get more regular access to Independent Advocacy.

We will help people better understand the role and rights of carers.

We will support improvements in the way carers rights are respected and upheld.

We will give more training to help people know carers rights in the health and social care system.

We will find out what else needs to change to make it easier for carers to get support.

We will start new research to help us know how often people are restrained and secluded.

We also want this research to give us a better understanding of how often people experience coercion.

Coercion is making someone do something by using force or threats.

We want to know what it will take to reduce these issues over time.

Strategic Aim 3: Accountability

We will make sure that there are strong systems of accountability for upholding human rights across the mental health system.

Accountability means that it is someone's job to make sure that everyone can uphold their rights.

It means holding people to account if rights are not upheld.

We will improve the rules and checks on services.

We will make more use of data to help us see where we can make these services better.

Data is information that can be measured or counted.

We will make sure that people have ways to complain and ask for changes when their rights are not respected or upheld.

We want to make equalities part of how we run and uphold the mental health system.

Equalities is the right for everyone to be treated equally and to have the same opportunities.

We will develop an action plan to check mental health services.

An action plan is a big plan with actions.

We want to promote better leadership and responsibility in public bodies and organisations that hold people accountable.

Public bodies are organisations that are publicly funded to deliver a public or government service.

We want to give public bodies and organisations enough power and make them work together to make services better and safer.

We will act quickly on the results of three reviews about mental health laws, checks and rules in Scotland.

These reviews are:

  • Scottish Mental Health Law Review
  • Mental Health Scrutiny and Assurance Review
  • Independent Review of Inspection.

We will work to collect and use data better to make sure mental health and social care services are fair and help everyone.



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