Background: The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 introduced the role of the Named Person, who can be nominated by service users to protect their interests if they become subject to compulsory measures and replaces the Nearest Relative. If no nomination is made, the primary carer or nearest relative is appointed the Named Person. The views of professionals involved in the development and implementation of the provisions were unknown. Aim: To describe the perceptions of mental health officers and policy makers involved in the development and implementation of the new provisions. Method: Sixteen professionals were interviewed to explore their perceptions of and experiences with the Named Person provisions. Data were analysed using Thematic Analysis. Results: Perceptions of the Named Person provisions were generally favourable but concerns were expressed over low uptake; service users' and carers' lack of understanding of the role; and potential conflict with human rights legislation over choice and information sharing. Conclusions: Legislation should be amended to allow the choice of no Named Person and the prevention of information being shared with the default appointed Named Person. Removal of the default appointment should be considered. © 2010 Informa UK, Ltd.
- Named Person
- Nearest Relative