Chairs of mental health reviews announced

Reviews of 2003 mental health law and forensic mental health services to be “stakeholder-driven and evidence-led”

Monday 20th May 2019

The chairs of two independent reviews into mental health law and services in Scotland have been announced today.

John Scott QC will head an investigation into the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, which sets out the framework for people with a mental illness or learning disability who need but might not agree to treatment.

Mr Scott has ‘extensive experience’ of human rights and legal issues, the Scottish Government says.

Separately, Derek Barron, director of care at veterans’ charity Erskine, will lead a review of the delivery of forensic mental health services.

Delivered mostly by the State Hospital in Carstairs, these cater for patients with severe mental health issues who have committed crimes.

A fall in the number of high security prisoners has raised questions about the best way to offer treatment.

The Mental Health Minister said Mr Barron’s experience in mental health nursing and his history of providing ‘visible, transformational’ leadership would be key to the success of the wide-ranging review.  

Clare Haughey continued: “While it will be for Mr Scott and Mr Barron to determine how the reviews are best taken forward, I have been clear that both reviews will be stakeholder-driven and evidence-led.

“We want to gather views from as wide a range of people as possible, including the voices of those with lived experience, so that they can help shape the future direction of our legislation and the services that are provided to those with mental illness.”