Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015: advice for groups

Information about how the 2015 Act affects service users and professionals.

Suspension of detention

Section 9-10 of the 2015 Act

These sections make various changes to the rules around suspension of detention. In particular, it changes the maximum cumulative total allowed to 200 days in a rolling year period, excluding any period of less than 8 hours.

In the short term, there will be work to ensure relevant suspension of detention periods are calculated to fit with the new totals. The transitional provisions set out that any certificate granted before 30 June 2017 is subject to the previous rules (even if the period of suspension lasts into July and beyond), and any certificate granted on or after the 30 June will be subject to the new rules. Calculating total suspension of detention will be simpler once the transition is over.

Named person

Sections 22-25 of the 2015 Act

These sections of the 2015 Act make various changes to the provisions around appointing a named person. This includes:

  • removes the sections of the 2003 Act that give an individual over 16 a named person by default if they have not chosen one
  • changes the 2003 Act so that named person must consent in writing to taking on the role

In the short term, there may be work to identify whether records suggest whether individual service users actively nominated their named person to ensure such nominations remain valid.

Advance statements

Section 26 of the 2015 Act

This section of the 2015 Act requires copy of advance statements to be placed with person’s medical records. Requires certain information to be sent to the Mental Welfare Commission to be held in register which can be accessed by certain persons including the Health board. Places duty on Health Board to publicise information about support it offers on making an advance statement and to report how they are meeting this duty to the Commission.

As well as ensuring that processes are in place for keeping advance statements with medical records, up to date information about the existence and storage of advance statements will need to be passed to the Commission.



Telephone: 0131 244 4006


Mental Health Directorate
Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road

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