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The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

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07 The Mental Welfare Commission

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  • What does the Mental Welfare Commission (Commission) do?
  • Who can contact the Commission?
  • How do I speak to the Commission?
  • What if I need more help?
  • How does the Commission make sure everyone follows the law?
  • What if I am not happy with the Commission?

What does the Mental Welfare Commission (Commission) do?

If you have a mental disorder, the Commission should make sure:

  • your care and treatment follows the new law
  • your rights are looked after
  • your rights are looked after even when you cannot make decisions for yourself.

They also help if you are cared for by the Adults with Incapacity law especially if you have a welfare guardian.

The people who work for the Commission are called Commissioners. They are chosen because they know about mental disorder.

They may:

  • work in mental health like doctors, nurses, social workers, care workers
  • have used mental health services themselves
  • have cared for someone with a mental disorder.

Adults with Incapacity Law - this law looks after people who cannot decide things for themselves.

Welfare guardian. This is someone the court chooses to decide about your care and welfare if you cannot do this.

Who can contact the Commission?

You - if you are worried about your care and treatment.

Your carer - if they are worried about your care and treatment or if they need more support.

People who work in care services - if they want advice and information on the law.

Your Independent advocate - if they want advice about your care.

Your named person - if they are unhappy with your care.

Independent advocate is someone who helps you to say what you think about your care and treatment.

Named person is someone you choose to look out for you if you have to have treatment. They help to decide about your care and treatment.

How do I speak to the Commission?

If you or your carer want to ask about your rights you can call 0800 389 6809 Telephone Logo (open 9 - 5 from Monday - Friday). This is a free phone advice line.

The person you speak to:

  • helps you understand what the law says about care and treatment
  • tells you what you can do if you are not happy with your care and treatment
  • tells you about other groups who may be able to help you.

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There are also information leaflets which you can ask for by phone or you can get them from the website www.mwcscot.org.uk

Marek has been put on a compulsory treatment order. This means he must have treatment even though he does not want it. His carer phones to ask what the law says about this. The person who answers explains the law. He explains that Marek must have the treatment. He also tells Marek's carer how to get him support from an independent advocate.

What if I need more help?

If you need more help the Commission may:

  • ask you more about your problem
  • talk to the people who are treating you
  • tell those who are treating you what is wrong
  • ask them to put it right
  • check with you and your carer to see if things have got better.

The Commission may visit you in hospital, in a care home, at a care service or in your own home.

They might visit if you:

  • have asked for a visit
  • are on a compulsory treatment order
  • have a welfare guardian.

Compulsory treatment order means you have treatment even if you do not want it.

Some weeks later Marek is still on a compulsory treatment order and in hospital. The Commission come to visit Marek and his carer. They ask him about his treatment. They want to find out if there are any problems or if he needs any more support.

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How does the Commission make sure everyone follows the law?

Anyone who gives you care and treatment should tell the Commission if:

  • you have been held under the law
  • you must have compulsory treatment
  • the doctor has not followed your wishes in your advance statement. This is when you write down how you would like to be treated if you become ill in the future
  • a welfare guardian is appointed.

If there is a problem, the Commission:

  • looks at all the information and decide what is best for you
  • suggests changes to make sure it doesn't happen again.

The Commission shares information in reports. This helps those giving care and treatment to learn more about the best way to care for you and others.

What if I am not happy with the Commission?

If you are not happy about how the Commission has helped you can complain.

1. You can phone 0800 389 6809Telephone Logo. The Commission should tell you how to complain. They should do this in writing. They should find out what has happened from you and others. They should tell you what they have found out and tell you what happens next.
2. If you are still unhappy you can complain to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. The telephone number is 0870 011 5378 Telephone Logo. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman listens to complaints about public services.