Dr Richard Simpson MSP Stands Up For Patients’ Rights

Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, Dr Richard Simpson MSP tabled several amendments to the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill, almost all of which are designed to maintain or enhance the rights of patients. They will in particular enhance the role of independent advocacy, enhance a review of deaths in detention or otherwise in hospital for treatment for a mental disorder and ensure that in cases where there is a homicide by a person with mental illness lessons are learned.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP was a psychiatrist and is the Honorary Professor of Psychology and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry.

The Mental Health (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 19 June 2014. The overarching objective of the Bill is to help people with a mental disorder access effective treatment quickly and easily. The stage 3 proceedings will take place today (Wednesday afternoon) and MSPs will be required to vote on the amendments in the Scottish Parliament.

The Mental Health (Scotland) bill is the first significant revision of the ground breaking 2003 Act.

It followed from the McManus Review, a limited review of the civil provisions of the 2003 Act which was commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2008.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said:

“The McManus Review was a partial and limited review. Not all its recommendations were accepted. The Bill as tabled was almost wholly a diminution of patients’ rights. The amendments I have tabled are without exception supported by organisations working for those with mental health problems.

“However, even if these amendments are passed the time has come for a wider review of the Incapacity Act 2000, the Mental Health Act (2003), and the Protection of Vulnerable Act 2007, to ensure that the rights of patients such as those with learning disability and Autism Spectrum Disorder and the rights of those who have sufficient capacity to refuse treatment should be fully respected.”