MWCS Annual Report 2013-14 published
28th October 2014
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWCS) have published their Annual Report (2013-14) and a report on their ‘Visits to young people in secure settings’.
The Annual Report highlights the range of work the Commission undertook to safeguard the rights and welfare of people with mental illness, learning disabilities and related conditions.
Key activities and findings in 2013-14 include:
- The investigation of the case of Ms DE who tragically took her own life in December 2011. Ms DE had had a work capability assessment (carried out by Atos on behalf of DWP) and the MWCS investigation led to the conclusion that “the assessment process was flawed and needs to change in order to be fair to individuals with mental health problems.”
- The Commission was ‘particularly concerned about the amount of medication some people with dementia received without regular review’. However, its ‘Dignity and Respect: dementia continuing care visits’ report also highlighted examples of excellent practice, such as the East Ayrshire Community Hospital. The Cabinet Secretary for Health committed to implementing all the recommendations of this report.
- Commission visits to young people in secure care showed a need for “effective communication of information between services, clearer care pathways for mental health care, including discharge planning, and overall continuity of mental health care” for this vulnerable group. The report ‘Visits to young people in secure settings’ highlights a range of recommendations aimed at providing a better experience for young people.
- There was a rise in the use of emergency detention for the very young and the very old, and a very substantial rise in the use of guardianship measures under the Adults with Incapacity Act.
Colin McKay, Chief Executive of MWCS, said:
‘The Commission exists to protect and promote the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disability and related conditions. We are an independent body, and our Annual Report shows that we are not afraid to speak out where people’s rights and needs have not been properly respected, whether by central government or local services. But we also highlight examples of positive work and good practice.’
‘Scotland can be proud of its progressive and rights-based laws and policies, but the report identifies increasing pressures on the system. Over the next year, we will continue to work with individuals and organisations across Scotland, particularly on supporting the Scottish Government’s commitment to increase the focus on rights as a key component of mental health care in Scotland.’
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