Mental Health

Contact our Mental Health Team Today: 01245 850819

 

Our specialist mental health team are members of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme which ensures that they have been independently assessed as being experts in their field.

Our team focuses on not only providing practical legal advice and representation, but support during this process and our solicitors take each client as an individual and approach their matter with care and understanding.

We offer advice and assistance in relation to detention under the Mental Health Act, whether in a hospital or community setting, providing representation at Tribunal Hearings and support to clients at Care Programme approach (CPA) meetings and Managers Hearings.

For more information please call: 07492753957

Detention Under the Mental Health Act

In the most cases, when people are treated in hospital, they have been admitted to hospital voluntarily. However, there are cases when a person is detained under the Mental Health Act and treated without their consent.

If you are in detained hospital (sectioned) under the Mental Health Act 1983 you can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal or the Hospital Managers to appeal the decision to detain you.

We can advise on the following:

  • Section 2 – Detention for Assessment and Treatment.
  • Section 3 – Detention for Treatment.
  • Section 17A – Community Treatment Orders.
  • Section 37 – Hospital Orders.
  • Sections 37/41 – Hospital Orders with Restrictions.
  • Section 47 – Transfer from Prison
  • Section 47/49 – Transfer from prison with Restrictions
  • Section 48 – Transfer of a remanded prisoner
  • Section 48/49 – Transfer of a remanded prisoner with Restrictions
  • Tribunal Hearing – Non Restricted
  • Tribunal Hearing – Restricted
  • Managers Hearing – Non Restricted

Section 2:

You can be detained in hospital under Section 2 if you have been examined by two doctors who think that you may have a mental disorder which needs to be assessed, and treated if appropriate. You must therefore stay in hospital so that the person in charge of your case (your Responsible Clinician) can find out what, if anything, is wrong, and how to help you.

During this time, you must not leave the hospital without permission from your Responsible Clinician. If you try to leave, the staff can stop you, and if you do leave, you can be brought back.

Section 2 lasts for up to 28 days before it expires. It cannot be renewed by the treating team at the end of the 28 day period.  You have the right to appeal against your detention to a Mental Health Tribunal and/or the Hospital Managers.

Section 3

You can be detained in hospital under Section 3 if you have been examined by two doctors who believe that you have a mental disorder and that you need to be in hospital so that you can be given treatment and care.

You can be kept in hospital for up to 6 months initially so that you can be treated. You have the right to appeal against your detention to a Mental Health Tribunal and/or the Hospital Managers.

During this time, you must not leave unless your Responsible Clinician gives you permission. If you try to leave the staff can stop you, and if you do leave, you can be brought back.

Section 17A (Community Treatment Order)

You may be released from hospital subject to a supervised Community Treatment Order (CTO) under Section 17A. This is because the person in charge of your care (your Responsible Clinician) thinks you are well enough to leave hospital, but is concerned that you may not continue with your treatment, or may need to be admitted to hospital again at short notice, for more treatment.

The aim of the CTO is that the care team will do their best to help you stay well following discharge from hospital. However, if your Responsible Clinician thinks that you need hospital treatment again, you can be asked to return to hospital, in order to receive that treatment.

You will be subject to at least 2 conditions, namely:-

  1. You must make yourself available for examination by your Responsible Clinician when the care team is considering whether to renew it.
  2. You must make yourself available for examination by a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor (called a SOAD) when required.

You may also be subject to more conditions.

Failure to comply with the conditions does not necessarily mean that you will be recalled to hospital. However, this will be taken into account in deciding whether you need to be recalled, perhaps because of non-compliance with medication in the community.

The community based section runs for up to 6 months, and may be renewed for further periods of time.

Section 37:

If you are convicted of a crime, and you have been examined by two doctors who believe that you have a mental disorder and have told the court that you need to be in hospital so that you can be given treatment and care rather than in prison, you may be detained on a Section 37 Hospital Order at sentencing.

You can be kept in hospital for up to 6 months initially, during which there is no right of appeal to a Mental Health Tribunal, so that you can be treated.  The Section 37 can be renewed for further periods of time, during which you will have the right of appeal.

During this time, you must not leave hospital unless your Responsible Clinician gives you permission. If you try to leave the staff can stop you, and if you do leave, you can be brought back.

Section 37/41:

If you are convicted of a crime, and you have been examined by two doctors who believe that you have a mental disorder and have told the court that you need to be in hospital so that you can be given treatment and care rather than in prison, you may be detained on a Section 37 Hospital Order. For public safety reasons, the Court may also impose on you a “Restriction Order” under Section 41 of the Act. This means that you cannot be discharged from hospital unless the Secretary of State for Justice or a Tribunal says you can leave.  Also, your discharge may be subject to certain conditions. While you are in hospital your Responsible Clinician must get permission from the Secretary of State on all important matters e.g. about leave, or transfer to another hospital. The Responsible Clinician must also examine you and send a written report about you to the Secretary of State at least once a year.

Section 47 and 47/49:

If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, you may be transferred under Section 47 of The Mental Health Act 1983 to hospital if the Secretary of State is satisfied by the reports of 2 medical practitioners that you are suffering from a mental illness within the meaning of The Mental Health Act 1983 and that the mental disorder was of a nature or degree making it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital under medical treatment.

The Secretary of State may also make your transfer subject to special restrictions under Section 49 of The Mental Health Act 1983. Section 49 has the same effect as a restriction order under Section 41 of The Mental Health Act 1983 whereby there is involvement of the Secretary of State for Justice due to the concerns that you may pose risk to the public. While you are in hospital, the person in charge of your care, your Responsible Clinician, must get permission from the Secretary of State on all important matters for example, leave or transfer to another hospital. Your Responsible Clinician must also examine you and send written reports about you to the Secretary of State, at least once a year.

Section 48 and 48/49 

If you have been remanded to prison after being charged with an offence, and your case is due to be heard in court,  a Transfer Direction was may be ordered by the Secretary of under Section 48 of The Mental Health Act 1983 the Secretary of State is satisfied by the reports of 2 medical practitioners that you are suffering from a mental disorder, within the meaning of The Mental Health Act 1983 and that the mental disorder was of a nature or degree making it appropriate for you to be detained in hospital for medical treatment. The hospital will be chosen by the Secretary of State if they are satisfied that you would be able to receive appropriate treatment at the hospital and that you were in urgent need of such treatment

The Secretary of State may also make your transfer subject to special restrictions under Section 49 of The Mental Health Act 1983. Section 49 has the same effect as a restriction order under Section 41 of The Mental Health Act 1983 whereby there is involvement of the Secretary of State for Justice due to the concerns that you may pose risk to the public. While you are in hospital, the person in charge of your care, your Responsible Clinician, must get permission from the Secretary of State on all important matters for example, leave or transfer to another hospital. Your Responsible Clinician must also examine you and send written reports about you to the Secretary of State, at least once a year.

Tribunal Hearing (Non restricted):

A Tribunal Hearing will be before a Tribunal panel comprised of 3 members who are totally independent. There is the Judge who is a lawyer, a Specialist Member who has an interest in social and mental health issues, and thirdly, a medical member who is a consultant psychiatrist. The medical member may visit you before the Tribunal Hearing and have a chat with you. He or she will also look at your medical notes. The medical member is under an obligation to form an opinion about you prior to the Tribunal Hearing, and pass that view on to the Tribunal itself.

The Tribunal has the power to discharge your section if it does not agree that you have a mental disorder that needs you to stay in hospital for treatment ( or assessment and/or treatment for section 2 cases), or that the detention is not in the interest of your health or safety or to protect other people. The Tribunal can discharge the section immediately or can delay it for a short period if required. If the Tribunal doesn’t decide to discharge your detention, it can make recommendations that your Dr consider giving you some leave or move you to another hospital if it is believed that this will help you to be discharged. Although the Tribunal can make the recommendations, unfortunately it cannot enforce them; this would be a decision for your clinical team.

Public funding is available free of charge for representation at Tribunal Hearings

Tribunal Hearing (Restricted):

A Tribunal Hearing will be before a Tribunal panel comprised of 3 members. There is the Judge who is a circuit judge or Queens Counsel, a specialist member who has an interest in social and mental health issues, and a medical member who is a consultant psychiatrist. If you agree, the medical member will visit you before the Tribunal Hearing and have a chat with you and look at your medical notes. The medical member is under an obligation to form an opinion about you prior to the Tribunal Hearing, and pass that view on to the Tribunal. It can be a real benefit to you for this to happen as the medical member will spend time talking to you alone and you will have a better chance of explaining your situation to him/her, than in the Tribunal Hearing alone.

The Tribunal has the power to absolutely discharge your section or conditionally discharge your section, if it does not agree that you have a mental disorder that needs you to stay in hospital for treatment, or that the detention is not in the interest of your health or safety or to protect other people. The Tribunal has fairly limited powers with a restricted patient but any recommendations it chooses to make are unenforceable on the Secretary of State, but can be influential.

Public funding is available free of charge for representation at Tribunal Hearings

Managers Hearing:

A Managers hearing will be before 3 managers appointed by the hospital.  They are not lawyers, nor are they medically qualified. Their duty is to listen to all evidence put before them and then reach a unanimous decision as to whether your section should remain in force or be lifted. They will have your general interests as the patient, at heart.

The Hospital Managers have the power to discharge your section if they do not agree that you have a mental disorder that needs you to stay in hospital for treatment, or that the detention is not in the interest of your health or safety or to protect other people. If the Hospital Managers do not discharge you they can make recommendations if they believe it will assist you to be discharged in the near future. The Hospital Managers can recommend either a transfer to another hospital. Although the Hospital Managers can make recommendations, these are not enforceable.

Public funding may be available for assistance with a Hospital Managers hearing, subject to an assessment of means.