• Prisoners have the right to access healthcare and to be provided with treatment for a mental disorder even when they are unable to consent. A failure to provide such treatment may constitute a breach of the Human Rights Act (articles 2, 3, and 14).
  • Civil legislation does not apply.
  • Assessment Order, Treatment Order or Transfer for Treatment Direction apply.
  • Appropriate forms, available in the prison, need to be completed by medical staff following an examination of the patient.
  • The medical report is then submitted to the prison governor who notifies the Scottish Government and the courts.
  • Any doctor who has examined the patient in prison and is proposing such a transfer must liaise closely with the proposed hospital for transfer, and in particular secure agreement with the receiving clinician prior to any recommendation for transfer being made.
  • The 7 day rule applies: if a bed cannot be found within 7 days and a transfer to hospital is still necessary, then the medical recommendations must be renewed.

Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 28/05/2021

Author(s): Julia Ferrari, Joe McGhee, Duncan Westall, William McFadden, Heather Tainsh , Susan Sutherland, Marie White , Anne Cook, Justin McNicholl, Douglas Armstrong, Dr Nabila Muzaffar, Dr Stuart Affleck, Dr David Cumming, Andrew Angus, Jackie Maher, Rose Mills, Vincent Hughes.