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Mental Welfare Commission releases 2017-18 annual report

27 November 2018

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has today published its annual report for the period 2017-18.

During the year, the Commission responded to the government's consultation on reform of the Adults with Incapacity Act. The Commission welcomes the government's proposals, but believe they are in need of a great deal of further work.

Welfare guardianships orders continue to increase according to Commission figures, with the total number of orders up 12 per cent on the previous year. The number of new guardianship orders granted increased by five per cent, a 149 per cent rise since 2008-09.

Colin McKay, Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said:

"We published a report examining Police Scotland's use of place of safety orders to detain people under the Mental Health Act. The Commission found a high level of care and professionalism among police officers towards often highly distressed individuals.

"For the first time, The Commission published a report looking at the care, treatment, and support of people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD reported that they were often treated with less sympathy and understanding by professional staff than people with other mental health diagnoses. The Commission made recommendations for change to the Scottish Government and integrated authorities."

The Commission worked on 24 investigations, seven of which were started during the year. The Commission closed eight cases as complete, with the Commission satisfied with the outcome or responses of services after its investigation. One investigation was published, "Investigation into the care and treatment of Mr QR by Health Board D", which involved a man who took his own life after being discharged from hospital.

The Commission also surveyed health boards on access to advocacy services, and published its findings. The report showed a varied level of planning and provision, and a lack of clarity.

The Commission's programme of local visits continued in 2017-18, with visits to 1,456 people across Scotland. Commission staff carried out 113 local visits to wards, units, and other facilities providing mental health care and treatment, 29 of which were unannounced.

Colin McKay added: "We will continue to work to influence and improve mental health provision in Scotland, promoting human rights and seeking to embed them into care for people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions."

The full report is available on the Commission's website here.

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