The Mental Welfare Commission has launched a new guide, aimed at ensuring mental health patients have their human rights respected at key points in their treatment.

The guide is called Rights in Mind and is a practical document that lists people’s rights when they are first admitted to hospital, when they are on the ward, when they are discharged and when they are being treated in the community.

The pathway was designed in consultation with patients, relatives and staff with experience of adult acute care, although it may also be helpful in other settings. The questions throughout come from the issues patients told us were most important to them in relation to their rights. The guide was developed after feedback showed that, for example, voluntary patients were sometimes unaware of whether or not they could leave a ward, or whether or not they could refuse treatment. Patients who are detained in hospital have an additional set of rights such as a right to be told how long they are detained for, and whether and how they can appeal against their detention.

The guide is supported by a series of five short films showing interviews with ex-patients who talk about their experience, with nurses on pilot wards in Dumfries and Wishaw, and with the Commission.

You can read more about this guide, and download a copy, here.