Research: Patient’s experience of mental health tribunals

18 May 2021

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland: The Views and Experiences of Patients, Named Persons, Practitioners and Tribunal Members


You are being invited to take part in a research study. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully. Please ask if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Take time to decide whether or not you wish to take part.

Aim of the Study

The aim of the research is to investigate the views and experiences of patients, named persons, practitioners and tribunal members regarding the tribunal’s processes and outcomes. The research team are interested in whether the tribunal is operating in line with the rights-based principles underpinning the law, such as participation, benefit, and non-discrimination, and whether the tribunal helps to ensure human rights standards are met. 

Study Duration

This study is being conducted between October 2017 and July 2021.

What does the study entail?

You are being invited to take part in a video call interview to collect your views of the mental health tribunal. The interviews will focus on your experiences of both the tribunal process and outcomes. They will ask you about your experience of the tribunal, including what you think was good and what could be improved. They will ask you if you were able to take part and if you felt listened to. They will also ask you whether you felt your human rights were upheld by the tribunal.

If you decide that you want to take part, then you can choose if you want to take part in one longer interview, lasting up to one hour, or three shorter interviews, lasting around twenty minutes each. Interviews will be carried out by one of the research team (Professor Jill Stavert, Professor Michael Brown, and Ms Aimee McDonald). They will ask for your consent to record the interviews (including video and audio). If you decide not to consent to this, full notes of your interview will be produced on Microsoft Word. Interviews will take place on Microsoft Teams or a telephone as appropriate. Video interviews will be recorded using the MS Teams recording function and telephone interviews will use an encrypted Dictaphone.

Do I have to take part?

It is entirely up to you whether or not to take part. If you do so, you will be given this information sheet to keep and will be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to participate you are free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. After you have withdrawn, all of your data will be destroyed using the University’s confidential waste disposal system..

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

All identifying information will remain confidential and anonymous throughout the research project and in any related publications. All data will be stored on a password protected computer with no personal identifiable information. All audiotapes will be destroyed after the data has been transferred to a password protected computer located at Edinburgh Napier University. This is a secure network that is regularly backed up. Access to data will be granted to the research team who will be undertaking data analysis and writing up the findings.

Once the study has ended, the anonymised data will be retained for a minimum of 10 years in the University’s data repository in line with the Edinburgh Napier Data Management Policy.

Please note that assurances on confidentiality will be strictly adhered to unless evidence of wrongdoing or potential harm is uncovered. In such cases the University may be obliged to contact relevant statutory bodies/agencies.

What will happen to the information you collect about me?

The information will be used to write a report of the findings and will include a full report and a shorter summary version. This will be widely distributed to patients, carers, tribunal panel members, policy makers and practitioners. The results may also be used in conference presentations and in academic journals. To participate in this study you must also read the Participant Privacy Notice, which will provide you with more information about the collection and storage of your data.

What are your rights?

Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you are free to refuse to take part or to withdraw from the study at any point without having to provide a reason. Your decision whether to participate in the study or not will have no influence on your relationship with any healthcare staff. Your responses will be confidential.

Who has reviewed the study?

The study has been reviewed by the Research Integrity Committee at Edinburgh Napier University.

Contact for Further Information

If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of this study, you should ask to speak with the Principle Investigator (project lead): Professor Jill Stavert (Tel. 0131 455 4553) who will answer your questions.

If you wish to speak with an independent to the study advisor then contact Professor Austyn Snowden from Edinburgh Napier University who has no involvement in the study (Tel. 0131 455 2965).

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