Publication - Research and analysis

Learning disability and autism provision in the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2003: findings from a scoping exercise

Published: 12 Jan 2017

Findings to help assess provisions for people with learning disabilities and autism in the Mental Health Act.

60 page PDF

708.3 kB

60 page PDF

708.3 kB

Learning disability and autism provision in the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2003: findings from a scoping exercise

60 page PDF

708.3 kB


1. Millan Committee (2001), New Directions: Report on the Review of Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984. Scottish Government:

2. People First (Scotland) (2011) Citizen's Grand Jury Report: People First (Scotland) is a membership organisation open only to people with learning difficulties (a term it uses in preference to learning disability) and is run by its members.

3. See Official Report of the Scottish Parliament for 24 June 2015, columns 73 and 74 and columns 121 and 122:

4. Ibid., column 122.

5. A copy of the consultation document is available from the Mental Welfare Commission upon request by email to:

6. The Scottish Government's Expert Group on Learning Disability. This is a group of 'experts by experience' who are supported by SCLD to provide advice and input to the Scottish Government on policies affecting people with learning disabilities.

7. See

8. Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016:

9. See

10. Examples given were Acquired Brain Injury, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( ADHD), Prader-Willi Syndrome and Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome.

11. An international convention concerned with the protection of human rights in the field of biomedicine.

12. The full title of the draft 'Additional Protocol' was: Working document concerning the protection of human rights and dignity of persons with mental disorder with regard to involuntary placement and involuntary treatment.

13. See paragraph 35 of the comments from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, 9 November 2015:

14. See

15. A 'named person' is someone who can help to protect the interests of a person who has to be given care or treatment under the 2003 Act. The named person will have to be informed and consulted about aspects of the person's care and can make certain applications on the person's behalf. See

16. These suggestions have been provided separately to the Scottish Government.

17. See for further information about how to design a FAIR process.

18. See for information about the PANEL principles.

19. Scottish Government (2016) Mental health in Scotland - a 10 year vision. Consultation paper. Available at: See Annex A, page 8.

20. This 18-month timescale is based on the timescale proposed during the debate on the Mental Health Bill of 'three years from the date of royal assent'.

21. This reflects the position of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in its General comment No 1 (2014) on Article 12 of the Convention. For a different view on what the Convention requires, see Towards Compliance with CRPD Article 12 in Capacity and Incapacity Legislation across the UK - Three Jurisdictions Report: Essex Autonomy Project Position Paper 6 June 2016 - .

22. Response from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland to the Scottish Government consultation on Adults with Incapacity:

23. Mental Health in Scotland - a 10 year vision: See Annex A, priority 8 on page 8.

24. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently awarded a research contract to explore the experiences of people with learning disabilities in the Scottish criminal justice system.

25. SOLD = Supporting Offenders with Learning Disabilities. See SOLD recently organised an event to consider the question of how to improve support for an accused person with a learning disability from arrest through to and including the court process.

26. Mental Health of Women Detained by the Criminal Courts: