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Deaths in detention reviews

Following a wider government review, the Scottish Government specifically asked us to develop a system for investigating all deaths of patients who, at the time of death, were subject to an order under either the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 or part VI of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (whether in hospital or in the community, including those who had their detention suspended).


When legislative changes were being made through the Mental Health Act 2015, concerns were raised with Ministers that there was not a consistent approach across Scotland to decisions or procedures on whether to review, and how to review, deaths of people who were being detained for care and treatment under these Acts.

While these decisions will always be taken on an individual basis, depending on the circumstances of a person’s death, Ministers wish all Scottish authorities to work to the same system.  

Scotland does not currently have a national unified system for investigating deaths of people who are subject to compulsory care and treatment. Different areas have different criteria and different timescales for undertaking investigations.

Following a review, Scottish Government asked the Mental Welfare Commission to propose a new system.

Read the report to the Scotish Government here.

Read the analysis of responses to the DID consultation here.

Read the consultation responses here.

You can email us at mwc.review@nhs.scot