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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-01176: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 1 July 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that all mental health wards should be constructed to full anti-ligature specification.

Answered by: Shona Robison 21 July 2016

A safe and therapeutic environment for service users, staff and visitors is integral to the provision of mental health care. This position is reflected in the guidance which applies to mental health units in NHS Scotland which states:

3.42 Spaces where service users may not be continually supervised by staff (for example in bedrooms and toilets) should be designed, constructed and furnished to make self-harm or ligature as difficult as possible. All fixtures and fittings should be anti-ligature.

3.43 Spaces that are expected to be continually supervised by staff (for example communal areas or circulation spaces) should be comfortable and therapeutic. They encourage service users to participate in life on the ward and actively engage with staff, but minimise the risk of self-harm or injury to others.

7.24 All fixtures and fittings should be anti-ligature.