Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1984 c. 36


Mental Health (Scotland)Act 1984

1984 CHAPTER 36

An Act to consolidate the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1960.

[12th July 1984]

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 Application of Act

Part I

Application of Act

S-1 Application of Act: ‘mental disorder’.

1 Application of Act: ‘mental disorder’.

(1) The provisions of this Act shall have effect 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 related matters.

(2) In this Act—

‘mental disorder’ means mental illness or mental handicap however caused or manifested;

‘mental impairment’ means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind not amounting to severe mental impairment which includes significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned; and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

‘severe mental impairment’ means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned; and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

and other expressions have the meanings assigned to them in section 125 of this Act.

(3) No person shall be treated under this Act as suffering from mental disorder by reason only of promiscuity or other immoral conduct, sexual deviancy or dependence on alcohol or drugs.

II Mental Welfare Commission

Part II

Mental Welfare Commission

S-2 Mental Welfare Commission.

2 Mental Welfare Commission.

(1) There shall continue to be a body 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 10 commissioners (including at least 3 women) of whom one shall be chairman, at least 3 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 5 years either a member of the Faculty of Advocates or a solicitor.

(3) Five 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) Before making a recommendation under subsection (4) of this section the Secretary of State shall consult such bodies as appear to him to be concerned.

(6) 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.

(7) The Mental Welfare Commission may—

(a ) pay to the said commissioners such remuneration; and

(b ) make provision for the payment of such pensions, allowances or gratuities to or in respect of the said commissioners,

as the Secretary of State may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine; and such determination may make different provision for different cases or different classes of case.

(8) The following provisions of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 shall apply to the Mental Welfare Commission as they apply to a Health Board, that is to say—

(a ) sections 85(1), (2A), (4) and (6) (which contain provisions as to expenditure being met by the Secretary of State);

(b ) sections 85A(1) and (3) (which impose financial duties); and

(c ) section 86 (which provides for the auditing and examination of accounts).

(9) The Secretary of State may provide for the Mental Welfare Commission such officers and servants and such accommodation as the Commission may require.

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

(11) 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 Functions and duties of the Mental Welfare Commission.

3 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, subject be paragraph (c ) of this subsection, as often as they 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 or, where the patient is in a hospital, to any other patient in that hospital;

(c ) in any case where—

(i)the authority for the detention of a patient—

(A) has been renewed for a period of one year under section 30 of this Act; and

(B) is renewed for a further period of one year under that section; and

(ii)the patient has not, during the period referred to in sub-paragraph (i)(A) of this paragraph—

(A) appealed to the sheriff under section 30(6) of this Act; or

(B)been visited by the Mental Welfare Commission under paragraph (b ) of this subsection

to visit the patient before the expiry of the period of one year referred to in sub-paragraph (i)(B) of this paragraph, unless the patient has previously been discharged, and on any such visit to afford an opportunity, on request, for private interview to any such patient;

(d ) to bring to the attention of the managers of any hospital 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 managers or the local authority to exercise any of their functions 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;

(e ) to advise the Secretary of State, a Health Board or a local authority on any matter arising out of this Act which has been referred to the Commission by the Secretary of State, the Health Board, or the local authority, as the case may be;

(f ) to bring to the attention of the Secretary of State, a Health Board, a local authority or any other body any matter concerning the welfare of any persons who are suffering from mental disorder which the Commission consider ought to be brought to his or their attention.

(3) Where, in the course of carrying out any of their functions, the Mental Welfare Commission form the opinion that any patient who is—

(a ) liable to be detained in a hospital; and

(b ) either a restricted patient within the meaning of section 63 of this Act or a person mentioned in section 67(1) or (2) (persons treated as restricted patients) of this Act,

should be discharged, they shall recommend accordingly to the Secretary of State.

(4) On any visit by the Mental Welfare Commission in pursuance of paragraph (b ) or (c ) of subsection (2) of this section, the visitor shall be, or the visitors shall include, a medical commissioner or a medical officer of the Commission.

(5) 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.

(6) A medical commissioner or a medical officer of the Mental Welfare Commission may require the production of and inspect the medical records of any patient.

(7) The Mental Welfare Commission shall in 1985 and in every year thereafter publish a report on their activities; and copies of each such report shall be submitted by the Commission to the Secretary of State who shall lay copies before Parliament.

(8) Subject...

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