Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1960 c. 61


Mental Health (Scotland) Act , 1960

(8 & 9 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 61

An Act to repeal the Lunacy (Scotland) Acts, 1857 to 1913, and the Mental Deficiency (Scotland) Acts, 1913 and 1940; to make fresh provision with respect to the reception, care and treatment of persons suffering, or appearing to be suffering, from mental disorder, and with respect to their property and affairs; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Preliminary

Part I

Preliminary

S-1 Repeal of Lunacy \(Scotland) Acts and Mental Deficiency \(Scotland) Acts.

1 Repeal of Lunacy \(Scotland) Acts and Mental Deficiency \(Scotland) Acts.

1. Subject to the transitional provisions contained in this Act, the Lunacy (Scotland) Acts, 1857 to 1913, and the Mental Deficiency (Scotland) Acts, 1913 and 1940, shall cease to have effect, and the following provisions of this Act shall have effect in place of those enactments with respect to the reception, care and treatment of persons suffering, or appearing to be suffering, from mental disorder, to the management of their property and affairs, and to other matters related thereto.

S-2 Establishment and constitution of Mental Welfare Commission.

2 Establishment and constitution of Mental Welfare Commission.

(1) There shall be established a Commission to be called the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (in this Act referred to as ‘the Mental Welfare Commission’) who shall perform the functions assigned to them by or under this Act.

(2) The Mental Welfare Commission shall consist of no fewer than seven and not more than nine commissioners (including at least one woman) of whom one shall be chairman, at least three shall be medical practitioners (in this Act referred to as ‘medical commissioners’), and one shall be a person who has been for a period of at least five years either a member of the Faculty of Advocates or a solicitor.

(3) Four commissioners of whom at least one shall be a medical commissioner shall constitute a quorum of the Mental Welfare Commission.

(4) The commissioners shall be appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Secretary of State and shall hold and vacate office under the terms of the instrument under which they are appointed, but may resign office by notice in writing to the Secretary of State.

(5) No person who for the time being is employed in the civil service of the Crown whether in an established capacity or not, and whether for the whole or part of his time, shall be appointed to the Mental Welfare Commission; and for the purposes of this subsection ‘civil service of the Crown’ includes the civil service of Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Foreign Service and Her Majesty's Overseas Civil Service.

(6) Part II of the First Schedule to the House of Commons Disqualification Act, 1957 (which specifies certain commissions, tribunals and other bodies all members of which are disqualified under that Act) shall have effect, in its application to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as if after the entry relating to a Mental Health Review Tribunal constituted under the Mental Health Act, 1959, there were inserted the following entry:—

‘The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland’.

(7) The Secretary of State may pay to the said commissioners such remuneration and allowances as he may with the approval of the Treasury determine, defray the expenses of the Mental Welfare Commission to such amount as he may with the like approval determine, and may provide for that Commission such officers and servants and such accommodation as the Commission may require.

(8) The Mental Welfare Commission shall be a body corporate and shall have a common seal.

(9) The proceedings of the Mental Welfare Commission shall not be invalidated by any vacancy in the membership of the Commission or any defect in the appointment of any commissioner.

S-3 Dissolution of General Board of Control for Scotland.

3 Dissolution of General Board of Control for Scotland.

(1) On the establishment of the Mental Welfare Commission the General Board of Control for Scotland (in this section referred to as ‘the Board of Control’) shall cease to exist, and the following provisions of this section shall have effect in relation to the dissolution of that Board.

(2) The dissolution of the Board of Control shall not affect any rights, liabilities or obligations of that Board; but all such rights, liabilities and obligations shall pass to and vest in the Secretary of State, and any proceedings then pending to which that Board was a party may be continued by or against the Secretary of State.

(3) The property of the Board of Control shall pass to and vest in the Mental Welfare Commission; but nothing in this subsection shall preclude that Commission from transferring to the Secretary of State any such property as aforesaid which does not relate to their functions under this Act.

S-4 Functions and duties of the Mental Welfare Commission.

4 Functions and duties of the Mental Welfare Commission.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Mental Welfare Commission generally to exercise protective functions in respect of persons who may, by reason of mental disorder, be incapable of adequately protecting their persons or their interests, and, where those persons are liable to be detained in hospital or subject to guardianship under the following provisions of this Act, their functions as aforesaid shall include, in appropriate cases, the discharge of such patients in accordance with the said provisions.

(2) In the exercise of their functions as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of the Mental Welfare Commission—

(a ) to make enquiry into any case where it appears to them that there may be ill-treatment, deficiency in care or treatment, or improper detention of any person who may be suffering from mental disorder, or where the property of any such person may, by reason of his mental disorder, be exposed to loss or damage;

(b ) to visit regularly, and as often as they may think appropriate, patients who are liable to be detained in a hospital or who are subject to guardianship, and on any such visit to afford an opportunity, on request, for private interview to any such patient as aforesaid or, where the patient is in a hospital, to any other patient in that hospital;

(c ) to bring to the attention of any board of management or of any local authority the facts of any case in which in the opinion of the Mental Welfare Commission it is desirable for the board of management or the local authority to exercise any of the functions of that board or of that authority to secure the welfare of any patient suffering from mental disorder by—

(i) preventing his ill-treatment;

(ii) remedying any deficiency in his care or treatment;

(iii) terminating his improper detention; or

(iv) preventing or redressing loss or damage to his property.

(3) On any visit by the Mental Welfare Commission in pursuance of paragraph (b ) of the last foregoing subsection, the visitor shall be, or the visitors shall include, a medical commissioner or a medical officer of the Commission.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, the Mental Welfare Commission may interview, and a medical commissioner or a medical officer of the Commission may examine, any patient in private.

(5) A medical commissioner or a medical officer of the Mental Welfare Commission may call for the medical records of any patient.

(6) It shall be the duty of the Mental Welfare Commission to advise the Secretary of State on any matter arising out of this Act that he may refer to them and to bring to his attention any such matter of which, in the opinion of the Commission, he ought to be apprised.

(7) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the Mental Welfare Commission may appoint any commissioner or committee of commissioners to carry out any of the functions of the Commission, other than those relating to the discharge of patients, under this Act, and where any committee is so appointed the Commission may fix a quorum for that committee and otherwise regulate its proceedings.

(8) It shall be the duty of any commissioner or committee appointed in pursuance of the last foregoing subsection to exercise the functions so conferred in accordance with the directions of the Mental Welfare Commission.

S-5 Duties of the Secretary of State and of local authorities in relation to the Mental Welfare Commission.

5 Duties of the Secretary of State and of local authorities in relation to the Mental Welfare Commission.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to afford the Mental Welfare Commission all facilities necessary to enable them to carry out their functions in respect of any patient in a hospital other than a private hospital.

(2) It shall be the duty of the local health authority concerned and of the guardian of any person subject to guardianship under Part IV of this Act to afford the Mental Welfare Commission all facilities necessary to enable them to carry out their functions in respect of such a patient.

S-6 Definition of mental disorder.

6 Definition of mental disorder.

6. In this Act ‘mental disorder’ means mental illness or mental deficiency however caused or manifested.

II Local Authority Services

Part II

Local Authority Services

General Provisions

General Provisions

S-7 Functions of local health authorities.

7 Functions of local health authorities.

(1) In relation to persons who are or have been suffering from mental disorder, the purposes for which arrangements are authorised or may be required to be...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT