Mental health law in Scotland: guide to named persons

A named person is someone who can look after your interests if you are cared for or treated under mental health legislation. This guide provides information to help you understand your rights.

5. Making a Nomination

Once your chosen person has agreed to be your named person, your nomination must be made in writing. This must include a part which clearly states that your chosen person has agreed to be your named person — this part is known as a 'docket'.

Your nomination must be signed by you in front of a witness. The same witness must also sign and date the nomination itself. Only certain people can be a witness (see section 6). Your witness must be able to confirm that you understand what choosing and having a named person means and that you haven't been put under undue pressure by anyone to nominate a named person.

As your chosen person must agree to the nomination, your chosen person must sign the docket part of your nomination in front of a witness. The witness must also sign and date the docket.

The same person can be used to witness your signature and that of your chosen person's.

Your nomination will still be lawful even if you later become unable to make decisions. It is best practice to arrange for your nomination to be kept in a suitable place (see section 2).

You can cancel (revoke) your nomination at any time (see section 6).

A form for making a nomination can be downloaded from the forms section at but your hospital or local council may have their own version of the form which they can provide you with.

Before you ask anyone to help you nominate your named person, or act as your witness, you should check if it will cost you anything. Some people you ask for help might need to charge you for their working time. If you ask a solicitor you should ask them whether legal aid will be available to pay for some or all of the cost (legal aid is the help you can sometimes get when you can't afford to pay your own legal costs).


Email: Dan Curran

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