South Scotland

Borders mental health care standards praised

Mental Health
Image caption Community compulsory treatment has been successful

The Mental Health Commission for Scotland has praised efforts to treat a greater number of patients in the community.

It singled out the Borders as an example of good practice.

The commission looked at the cases of 200 people treated for mental health conditions under community-based compulsory orders.

Changes to the law have meant that fewer people are being kept for lengthy periods in hospital.

The Borders was reported to have made extensive use of treatment outwith hospital, and the report found evidence of good care planning and review of orders.

This was a new provision under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

Before it was implemented the report found that people did not think that community services were well enough developed to provide the care and support needed in the community.

Dr Cliff Sharp, Associate Medical Director said: "We have a lot of people treated in the community under the provisions of the mental health act, and our community teams work with the individuals to discuss their needs and put in place support to achieve the agreed goals.

''This includes discussing with the individual what needs to be in place for the order to be removed and working towards maintaining engagement and therapeutic relationships even when compulsory measures are necessary.''

Dr Donald Lyons, Chief Executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said: "We hope that service providers use the messages in this report to help people to recover from serious mental illness.

''Good care, treatment and support must be accompanied by services to improve the person's overall quality of life.

''We continue to regard compulsory community treatment as a priority for our attention.

''We will look further at our findings from this report and our forthcoming work on crisis support and intensive home treatment''.

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