If you need treatment under the Mental Health
(Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 you can choose someone to
help protect your interests.
This person is called a named person. Anyone aged 16 or over can
choose a named person.
A child under the age of 16 cannot nominate a named person. The
person with parental responsibilities for them is automatically
their named person.
Who can I choose to be my named person?
- Your named person can make important decisions about your care
if you are not able to decide yourself, so you should choose
someone who knows you well and who you can trust.
- If you can choose your own named person it can be a relative or
friend, but not somebody with a professional role in your
- You can say you don't want to have a named person.
You can have an independent advocate and a named person. Your
advocate cannot be your named person because they have different
jobs to do. Your independent advocate is someone who helps you say
what you think about your treatment.
Your named person has a right to be consulted about some aspects
of your care and treatment and can also make applications to the
Mental Health Tribunal.
For more information see the Scottish Government's guidance on named
*This guidance on named persons is currently being updated with
changes introduced by the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015,
therefore some parts are out of date. Below is an overview of the
main changes to named persons provisions made by the 2015
to named persons provisions made by the Mental Health (Scotland)
From 30 June 2017, changes are being phased in so that a person
will not have a named person unless they nominate somebody to be
their named person.
For a new named person nomination to be valid the nominated
person has to consent, in writing, to be the named person, and that
needs to be witnessed.
Nominations of named persons made before 30 June 2017 will
continue to be valid, even if the named person has not agreed in
If you become subject to compulsion under the Mental Health Act
now and you have not nominated a named person, you will not have a
named person unless you do nominate somebody.
Some people were already subject an order under the Mental
Health Act on 30 June 2017, and had a default named person. This
would be their primary carer or nearest relative. If this applies
to you, your default named person will continue to be your named
person until any of the following happen:
- You nominate that person or someone else to be your named
- You become informal (i.e. you are no longer subject to
compulsion under the Mental Health Act)
- Your responsible medical officer reviews your Order for the
first time after 30 September 2017
- If your default named person is still in place on 30 June 2018,
their role stops then
The Scottish Government has suggested templates for named person
nominations, declarations and consent on the Mental Health Act forms page.
The 2015 Act made provisions for other people to make
applications or appeals to the Tribunal about your Mental Health
Act Order if you do not have capacity to do so yourself, and you do
not have a named person. These people are called 'listed
Listed initiators include:
- Your nearest relative
- Your primary carer (if you have one)
- Your welfare guardian (if you have one)
- Your welfare attorney (if you have appointed a welfare
attorney, and it is operational)
If you do not want your primary carer or nearest relative to act
as a listed initiator for you, you can make a written declaration
to say they cannot do this.
To write this declaration you need to be capable of doing so,
and it needs to be witnessed. The Scottish Government has provided
a suggested template for this on the Mental Health Act forms page.