Knowledge about the Scottish mental health act in a general hospital setting

B. J. Baig, J. Walker, E. S. Crowe, S. M. MacHale, H. Aditya, S. G. Potts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Clinical experience suggests that non-psychiatrists' knowledge of mental health legislation in relation to emergency detention is inadequate. However, most non-psychiatrists will use this legislation at some point in their career.


A questionnaire about emergency detention legislation was circulated to non-psychiatric medical staff to test their knowledge of the provisions relevant to the general hospital. Results Two hundred and seventy four medical staff replied (a response rate of 82%). Results showed that an understanding of detention procedures and applicability were markedly deficient, irrespective of grade, specialty or experience.


The results indicate a need for increased education and awareness about emergency detention legislation especially in view of the implementation of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act (2003).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-17
Number of pages3
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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