Uproar at closure of Scotland’s monitor

Mental health campaigners have hit out at the Scottish executive’s failure to save its own advocacy agency from closure.

Campaigners say the collapse of the Advocacy Safeguards Agency undermines the advocacy movement and could jeopardise the quality of services.

The agency, funded by the executive, monitored all health and local authority advocacy services in Scotland but closed at the end of December.

Charlie McMillan, director of policy at the Scottish Association for Mental Health, said: “There is now no standard-setting body – how do we keep the quality of advocacy high?”

Jim Kiddie, an Aberdeen councillor and former service user, said the closure of the agency sent out the wrong messages to the mental health sector because of the importance the executive had placed on advocacy in shaping policy.

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