We have a new website go to gov.scot

The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

Listen

03 Named person

  • What is a named person?
  • What do they do?
  • Who can I choose to be my named person?
  • How do I nominate my named person?
  • How can I change my named person?
  • Who can be a witness?

Cartoon illustration to support information

What is a named person?

If you need treatment under the new Mental Health Act you can choose someone to look out for you. This person is called a named person. Anyone aged 16 or over can choose a named person.

Your named person can make important decisions about your care if you are not able to decide yourself. Because of this you should choose someone who knows you well and who you can trust.

Cartoon illustration to support information

You can have an independent advocate and a named person. Your advocate cannot be your named person because they have different jobs to do.

Your independent advocate is someone who helps you say what you think about your treatment.

What does my named person do?

  • They must be told about your care.
  • Anyone who gives you care and treatment must ask your named person what they think.
  • Your named person can ask the Mental Health Tribunal to decide about your care. They can go to the Tribunal and give their views. The Tribunal decides about the compulsory treatment of people with mental disorder.
  • They agree (or not agree) to medical examinations of you where they are needed for a Compulsory Treatment Order. This means you have treatment even if you do not want it.
  • They can ask the Local Authority or Health Board to assess your needs.

Cartoon illustration to support information

Who can I choose to be my named person?

Anyone aged 16 or over can be your named person. The person must understand what is involved.

Cartoon illustration to support information

Your named person can be:

  • Your carer
  • Your partner
  • Your nearest relative (mum, dad, brother or sister, or cousin)
  • Another service user
  • Anyone else you choose

Your named person should not be anyone with responsibility for your care like your GP or mental health officer.

Mental health officer: a specially trained social worker who helps people who have a mental disorder. He/she should tell you about your rights and make sure you get the care you need.

How can I nominate my named person?

Once someone agrees to be your named person you need to write down that you chose them to be your named person. This is called a "nomination".

A nomination must be:

  • Signed by you
  • Signed and dated by a witness

The witness must say that you understand about choosing a named person and that you have not been put under pressure by anyone.

What if I do not choose a named person?

If you are 16 or over and decide not to choose a named person your main adult carer becomes your named person. If you don't have an adult carer or they don't want to be your named person it will be your nearest relative.

How can I change my named person?

Gina is not happy with her named person, her cousin Rita. She makes a written statement saying she no longer wants Rita to be her named person. Gina signs the statement and asks her nurse to witness the statement. She then chooses a new named person.

Can I stop someone from being a named person?

Sean does not want his brother to be his named person. He makes a written statement saying he does not want this. He asks his social worker to be his witness. They both sign and date the statement.

Can anyone else change my named person?

Yes. If some people think your named person is not suitable they can ask the Tribunal to change this. The people who can do this include your mental health officer, your Responsible Medical Officer (this will usually be the consultant who is in charge of your care) and your relatives.

If you are not happy with a named person the Tribunal chooses for you, you can apply to the Tribunal to change this person.

Who can be a witness?

A witness can be:

  • a doctor
  • a nurse
  • a lawyer
  • a social worker
  • an occupational therapist
  • a clinical psychologist
  • a supervisor or manager of a care service