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Venture Press

Crossing The Acts: The Support and Protection of Adults at Risk with Mental Disorder; Across the Scottish Legislative Frameworks

by Tom Keenan / 978-1-86178-086-7 / Paperback/July 2011

Crossing The Acts: The Support and Protection of Adults at Risk with Mental Disorder; Across the Scottish Legislative Frameworks


This work explores the risks of adults with a mental disorder and how the relative Scottish legislation, policy and practice frameworks interrelate to provide them with support and protection. The main Acts in Scotland which support and protect adults at risk with mental disorder are:

a) the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 Act (the 2003 Act); 
b) the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (the 2000 Act); and
c) the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (the 2007 Act).

Seeking, primarily, to explore the practical application of duties and powers across the interface of these Acts, this work explores their links and relationships, their thresholds, and their collective application.

Many adults with a mental disorder need access to care and treatment and adequate support and protection. However, the tenet of this work is that adults at risk with mental disorder require a dedicated and, sometimes, a specialist approach to support and protection; primarily because their needs and risks are particular and can be complex in nature. A response to risk in many cases may need access to a comprehensive range of legislative provisions and a broad and, sometimes, specialist framework of care and support. 

Whereas other work concentrates on the law of Scotland as it relates to adults at risk, this work progresses this by concentrating on how the law is or should be applied in practice and by the key practitioners and agencies concerned, i.e. practical application of Scottish law rather than only what the law is and what it provides, thereby exploring a practical response to the risks and needs of adults affected by mental disorder in the community.

The work will explore the dilemmas, difficulties and deliberations, for those who protect and support adults at risk with mental disorder in Scotland ‘across the Acts’.

About the author
Tom Keenan is an independent consultant and trainer in the area of adult protection, specialising in the support and protection of adults at risk with mental disorder. He was a member of the Scottish Government’s code of practice working group on the 2007 Act.
He was a part-time Commissioner with the Mental Welfare Commission from 1998 to 2006 and has trained health and social care staff in local authority, health, voluntary and private agencies across Scotland, in particular key practitioners, such as mental health officers, social workers and health care practitioners. He acts as an independent social worker preparing community care assessments and reports on adults at risk and adults with mental disorder for solicitor agencies, and acts as a safeguarder in Glasgow Sheriff Court in relation to adults with incapacity. He was appointed as independent convener of an Adult Protection Committee in September 2010. He leads Mental Health Law in Practice, a consultancy and training organisation specialising in the practice based application of mental health, adults with incapacity and adult at risk law.