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Views sought on mental health

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale

A CHANCE is being offered to people in Dumfries and Galloway to help shape how mental health legislation is implemented.

The Mental Health Act (Scotland) 2015 was passed into law by the Scottish Parliament last year, amending parts of the previous 2003 Act to further strengthen patients’ rights.
And now service users, mental health professionals, organisations and others can comment on the best way to implement the Act.
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health Jamie Hepburn said: “The 2015 Mental Health Act contains some important changes to the way that mental health services are run in Scotland, to further strengthen patients’ rights.
“Having been passed by parliament last year, we are now moving towards implementing the measures contained in the Act.”
The Act will create a new central register of advance statements — documents where patients record how they want to be treated in the event they lose the capacity to make their own decisions.
In the consultation people will be asked for views on how the uptake of these advanced statements can be increased.
Other consultation questions will ask for views on changes to regulations that safeguard service-user’s rights.
Mr Hepburn said: “I hope we can get a good range of responses from people right across Dumfries and Galloway and beyond.
“The feedback of people who have experience of mental health services, either as users, professionals, or other interested parties, will help us to plan implementation in the best possible way.
“It will mean that we can ensure that the Act achieves the changes we want to see —stronger rights, and better patient involvement in decisions about their care.”
The consultation is being run online until May 30 and can be accessed at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/mental-health-law/mental-health-act

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