Compulsory treatment is ‘a step too far’

Mental health providers in Scotland must urgently consider the
implications of new compulsory community treatment orders,
delegates were told.

Shona Neil, chief executive of the Scottish Association of
Mental Health, said that while she welcomed many parts of the act
such as tribunals and advance statements, compulsory orders were a
“step too far”.

She also said that some providers might be uneasy about
providing services under compulsion and would be expected to give
evidence to a mental health tribunal to impose an order.

Donald Lyons, director of the Mental Welfare Commission, told
the conference it was right to introduce the orders but said he had
concerns they could be used to “restrict rather than enable”

He promised that the commission would visit everyone placed on
an order within six months to examine the grounds for the order and
the quality of care.

The orders will be introduced in October under the Mental Health
(Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

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