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Developing good practice guidelines for the administration of covert medication

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has, as part of its remit, a responsibility to develop good practice guidelines in respect of medical treatment in the setting of mental disorders. (These include people with dementia, intellectual disability, severe and enduring mental illness or brain injury which has led to a loss or impairment of capacity.) The process undertaken to develop such a guideline for the administration of covert medication to people with mental disorder is described. The process involved consultation with representatives of service users, carers and providers of services for people with mental disorder as well as professionals involved in their care. Within the current framework of Scots law case examples and evidence from research and existing practice guidance also informed the process [1, 2]. The content of the guideline will be detailed using a case study approach.


  1. Scottish Executive Stationary Office: The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Edinburgh. 2003

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  2. Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland: Covert Medication. Legal and Practical Guidance. 2005

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lyons, D., Lyall, R. Developing good practice guidelines for the administration of covert medication. BMC Psychiatry 7 (Suppl 1), S41 (2007).

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