Homepage Publications


We produce a range of publications, for professionals, people with mental ill health and families/carers. You can download them from our website. We have copies of some materials – contact us to enquire.

29 matching publications.


Introduction of an updated diagnostic classification system for mental health and intellectual disability services in Scotland: ICD-11

6 Dec, 2022 | .pdf, 1 MB

ICD 11 has been introduced in Scotland as the way in which diagnoses are recorded. This advice note provides information about ICD 11.


Adults with Incapacity: supporting discharge from hospital

25 Nov, 2022 | .pdf, 138.9 KB

Updated November 2022: the Mental Welfare Commission and Scottish Government have issued this joint statement on supporting discharges from hospital for adults with incapacity.


The scope and limitations of the use of section 47 of the Adults with Incapacity Act

1 Oct, 2021 | .pdf, 1 MB

The Commission has since received a number of enquiries in relation to the use of section 47 of the Act and has prompted this brief advice note to clarify the scope and limitations of this part of the legislation.


Cross-border transfers, cross-border absconding and cross-border visits under mental health law

18 Jun, 2021 | .pdf, 1.1 MB

A guidance factsheet for practitioners on legislation and regulations relating to cross border issues.


Who is the responsible medical officer (RMO)?

14 Jun, 2021 | .pdf, 1020.7 KB

We are often asked about this topic so have provided some clarification on RMOs.


Advance Directives refusing life sustaining treatments

3 Jun, 2021 | .pdf, 999.6 KB

In Scotland, an advance refusal of life-sustaining treatment has no formal legal status under the 2000 Act. It is different in England and Wales under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.


Medical treatment under Part 16 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003

19 Apr, 2021 | .pdf, 1.2 MB

This good practice guide was previously published as an advice note in 2014. It has been reviewed in 2021.


COVID-19 FAQs for practitioners (version 24, 19 March 2021)

19 Mar, 2021 | .pdf, 1.3 MB

The current pandemic is raising a many questions, as practitioners face new challenges and dilemmas in a rapidly changing environment. The unprecedented circumstances and the risk to health mean that some individuals’ human rights may be restricted, and it is important that any restriction is carefully considered, legal and ethical. This advice addresses a range of issues.

This advice will be updated frequently as the situation develops, and we advise that you do not print it out, but check online to ensure you have the most up-to-date advice and information.


Deprivation of Liberty

10 Mar, 2021 | .pdf, 1.3 MB

An update of the analysis and guidance advice on deprivation of liberty (originally produced in 2013, current as of 2020).Thank you to Jill Stavert for producing this update.


Hidden Surveillance

5 Feb, 2021 | .pdf, 1 MB

This advice note considers the issues for organisations such as care homes who may be considering using hidden surveillance. It also looks at the subject from the point of view of families and friends of people who are cared for by such organisations, and who may themselves be considering using hidden surveillance.


Legal Aid for Welfare Guardianship

5 Feb, 2021 | .pdf, 995.4 KB

We have been in discussion with the Scottish Legal Aid Board about civil legal aid for welfare guardianship applications.


Non-compliance with CCTOs

21 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 907.2 KB

We are regularly asked about what can be done when someone subject to a CCTO is not complying with the requirements of the order, or has become unwell.


Guardianship Applications before 16th birthday

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 876.8 KB

There may be a need to start the process of applying for guardianship in order that the guardian is in place when the individual turns 16.


When is "AWI Incapacity" more than inability to communicate?

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 879.3 KB

The Act, when defining incapacity, states that it must be due to either mental disorder or inability to communicate because of physical disorder. There are important differences in how these separate disorders are managed.


Unlawful short term detention and section 291

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 888.1 KB

We heard of a case where an individual was detained under a short-term detention certificate which the Tribunal ruled unlawful. There were discrepancies in the times of examination and granting the certificate.


Transfers and section 47 of the Adults with Incapacity Act

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 878.2 KB

A reminder about transfers to hospital under the Adults with Incapacity Act.


Guidance on the changes introduced by an Amendment to the Regulations concerning the Supervision of Welfare Guardians, in June 2014

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 1007.6 KB

Guidance on the circumstances it would be appropriate, with the agreement of the guardian and adult, either to reduce the frequency of supervision, or cease to supervise a welfare guardianship altogether.


S47 certificate still needed if there is a welfare proxy

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 885.5 KB

Except in emergencies, the Act requires that medical treatment is authorised under a certificate granted (usually) by the medical practitioner. There may also be a welfare proxy (attorney, guardian or holder of an intervention order) with the authority to consent.


Can you detain someone who won't talk you?

15 Jun, 2020 | .pdf, 882.7 KB

Ms X was known to have a mental illness and had a history of serious self-harm when unwell. Her relatives contacted the mental health services with serious concern about her.


Urgent Medical Treatment under the Mental Health Act (s243, T4)

15 Jun, 2020 | .pdf, 881.7 KB

A reminder that the responsible medical officer must report urgent treatment under section 243 to the Commission within seven days.


Complaints about Solicitors and Tribunal Hearings

12 Jun, 2020 | .pdf, 903.6 KB

Questions and answer notes concerning complaints about solicitors and Mental Health Tribunal hearings.


Nurse's power to detain

30 Jul, 2019 | .pdf, 180.9 KB

Our advice for nurses on using section 299 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.


Guidance for mental health professionals on changes to the Mental Health Act implemented on 30 June 2017

2 Aug, 2017 | .pdf, 2.1 MB

Our guidance on the changes to the Mental Health Act implemented on 30 June 2017 and how this will affect mental health professionals.


Adults with Incapacity - Sexual Relationships and the Criminal Law

26 Jul, 2016 | .pdf, 442.9 KB

Our advice on sexual relationships and criminal charges where the adult lacks capacity.


Contraception and Adults with Incapacity

28 Apr, 2016 | .pdf, 470.6 KB

This advice is intended to guide people through some of the complexities that arise relating to contraception and adults who may lack capacity.


Guidance on smoking

5 Mar, 2015 | .pdf, 170.8 KB

Our updated guidance on smoking in NHS mental health and learning disabilities in-patient services.


Guidance on s13ZA and the Cheshire West Supreme Court Decision

17 Sep, 2014 | .pdf, 99.1 KB

Mental Welfare Commission response to queries related to when to use s13ZA v Guardianship following the Cheshire West Supreme Court decision.


Monitoring Clozapine

13 May, 2013 | .pdf, 167.4 KB

We were asked to look at a case of a patient on clozapine therapy who had died. This is a complex area of clinical practice often involving a clozapine clinic as well as the usual CMHT and GP. While we did not conclude that there was a deficiency of care, we thought there were a number of useful learning points.


Immediate Redetention after failed application to tribunal

7 Nov, 2012 | .pdf, 162.8 KB

We were asked to look into cases where individuals had been detained in hospital after a failed application to the tribunal.