Homepage Latest news Mental Welfare Commission - coronavirus response (updated 24 March)

Mental Welfare Commission - coronavirus response (updated 24 March)

Publication date: 24 Mar, 2020

From today, Tuesday 24 March 2020, the Commission has made the following changes to its work patterns in response to the virus:

Contacting us

From today, Tuesday 24 March 2020, the Commission has closed its office, in line with Scottish Government guidance, and all staff are working from home.

This means that there will be a significant delay in processing any items sent by post.

We advise that as far as possible all communications are sent by email.

Notifications/forms from medical records should be sent to

Other enquiries should be sent to

The Advice Line remains open but on reduced hours: 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm.

Please also see our new advice note for practitioners regarding Covid-19.

Existing adjustments to other aspect of our work remain as follows.


A core part of our work is to visit people in hospitals, care homes, prisons and in people’s own homes. Many of those we meet with are older, physically frail or otherwise physically compromised.

Given the situation, we’ve decided that we will visit on a risk assessed, essential visit basis only. This means postponing all routine visits to wards, care homes and individuals, and postponing all visits to prisons.

We will consider conducting a visit when we believe the urgency to visit outweighs our precautions related to the coronavirus. We expect there to be few such visits, but we believe it is important that we keep this option open. 

We will ensure that any postponed visits are rearranged in due course. We will also be making additional contacts to ensure that the care, treatment and support the individual is receiving is meeting their needs.

Advice Line

We operate an advice line for professionals and for patients and relatives/carers, five days a week. It will be business as usual for this service, but we also remind people that they can contact us by email through enquiries@mwcscot.org.uk and we will endeavour to give a timely response.

Note that revised hours are now 10am-noon and 2pm-4pm until further notice. 

Designated Medical Practitioners (DMPs)

As part of our safeguarding role, the Commission is responsible for arranging visits from designated medical practitioners (psychiatrists who are independent from the team treating a patient) to give second opinions to treatment in certain circumstances.
Given the potential pressure on capacity to undertake these visits, the Commission is currently prioritising second opinions visits so that the most urgent are guaranteed. 

Like all other organisations, we will continue to monitor the situation. We are in discussion with Scottish Government and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Scotland) on any wider implications for safeguarding and services.