Pocket Psychiatry

What is it?

'Pocket Psychiatry' is a collection of hypertext (HTML-based) documents designed to be carried and used on handheld devices. It has been designed for use, and tested on, Pocket PC, but it will run on anything with a web browser. Some of the pages are slow on EPOC devices, but they work. I don't know how it looks on the Palm web browser(s). It should also work on Microsoft Smartphones, but some of the pages will be slow to load.

The pages have been optimised for handhelds - the layout has been simplified, and all non-essential code has been removed.

Note: some of the legislation may look rather odd on non-VGA devices. This is because of the workload needed to completely reformat the text for QVGA (320x240) screens. Please feel free to do it yourself!

What does it consist of?

  1. Chapter V of the ICD-10, with DCR-10 criteria for many conditions - the list is gradually growing.
  2. Sections of DSM-IV
  3. Chapter 4 of the British National Formulary (only some drugs/ some sections)
  4. The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
  5. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
  6. The Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 1995 (relevant parts to psychiatrists)
  7. Mental Health (Public Safety & Appeals)(Scotland) Act 1999
  8. Data Protection Act 1998
  9. Human Rights Act 1998
  10. Paracetamol Poisoning Graph

The legislation is exactly the same text as on the Government website, but modified to load and display quickly on palmtop computers.

See what Pocket Psychiatry looks like. Please bear in mind that the pages have been optmised for viewing on handhelds, so they may look rather bare in desktop PC web browsers.

Instructions for use

  1. Download Pocket Psychiatry
  2. Unzip to a suitable directory on your PC/ Handheld, maintaining the directory structure. If the directory structure is not intact, then most of the pages won't work properly.
  3. Navigate to the /pocket_psych/index.htm file and load this in your browser.
  4. Make this page a favourite/ bookmark and you can then access it rapidly.
  5. In order to view the Codes of Practice and Forms, you will need to install the free Pocket PC Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tips for PalmOS users

Most Palm devices don't come with an inbuilt web browser, and the browser in later PalmOS machines doesn't open local HTML files. If you have a Palm PDA, you can download the whole of Pocket Psychiatry as a PDB file, with all the links intact. This has been created using Plucker, a freeware Offline Reader which allows you to download whole websites to your Palm device, and preserve all the links. You will need the Plucker viewer to view the file, but this is a free download from www.plkr.org.

Pocket Psychiatry as a PDB file (528Kb) (Updated 18/7/05)

Before you ask:

  1. Most of the included legislation is Scottish because it's where I work. There are no plans to include England & Wales legislation. Please don't ask for them.
  2. The whole of chaper 4 of the BNF is quite big - 14Mb unzipped, and 5.7Mb zipped. If I can get it smaller, then I will try and add it. However, some people who have tried to publish parts of the BNF online have run into trouble with copyright, so this may be a difficult area.

Version History

Version Date Changes
2.8 28/8/06
  • Miscellaneous broken links fixed
  • Forms (PDF format) for the MH(C&T)(S)A 2003 now included.
2.7 30/8/05
  • DSM-IV added, with criteria for some disorders.
  • Codes of Practice added for the MH(C&T)(S)A 2003. As these are PDF files, you need the Pocket PC Acrobat reader installed. The filesize of the download has also increased.
2.61 11/7/05
  • Scottish Statutory Instruments have been added to the MH(C&T)(S) 2003 Act
  • Data Protection Act 1998 now included
  • Human Rights Act 1998 now included
2.5 20/6/05
  • Quik Linx have been expanded to aid getting to relevant sections faster.
2.4 18/6/05
  • Some minor corrections
  • Flowcharts for Emergency Detention and Short-Term Detention Certificate under MH(C&T)(S)A 2003 have been added.
2.3 14/6/05
  • DVLA guidelines for driving with a mental illness have been added
  • Sample phrases for completion of Form 9 (Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984) have been added.
2.2 30/1/05
  • ICD-10 substantially updated - many new conditions added, with descriptions and diagnostic guidelines added.
2.0 23/1/05
  • New Mental Health (Scotland) Act added.
  • Some pages may still have inconsistent formatting, but this will be addressed gradually.


Before downloading, please ensure that you understand the following:

  1. There can be no guarantees offerred for the accuracy of the information contained within it.
  2. The information is meant to be a guide/ pocket reference only. For decision-making you are advised to read the published BNF/ ICD-10/ full legislation/ etc.
  3. The author cannot be held responsible for you acting on information that you have downloaded here. Whilst the information should be accurate, you should understand that you are ultimately responsible for your own actions!

Download Zip File Download Pocket Psychiatry as a Zip File (2.84 Mb)


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