Mental health services

What do Mental Health Officers do

Mental Health Officers have wide range duties under three pieces of primary legislation:

1. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Scotland Act 2003

For people requiring hospital admission who are mentally unwell and cannot consent for necessary treatment, the MHO may consider consent to their admission to hospital for assessment or treatment under an emergency or short-term detention certificate.

For those persons requiring care and treatment in hospital for an extended period, the MHO can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal Service for Compulsory Treatment Orders authorising detention in hospital for up to a period of six months

2. The Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995

MHOs also perform duties under the Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995, including compiling Court reports on mentally disordered offenders who are subject to criminal justice processes.

3. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

MHOs also perform duties under the Adults with Incapacity Act providing assessments and reports for the Sheriff Courts to support Guardianship applications.

What is a designated MHO?

When an individual is required to receive care and/or treatment under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act the local authority must appoint a designated MHO for the period that the individual is subject to compulsory measures under the Mental Health Act. This provides consistent contact for people to discuss their situation and any concerns they may have.

The designated MHO will consult and liaise with the doctor in charge of the persons care and treatment, known as the Responsible Medical Officer (RMO) and prepare any reports necessary for the Mental Health Tribunal Service or the Sherriff Court.