Mental Health

Hylton-Potts - London Based Law Firm Helping People Across the UK since 1999

If you are sectioned under the Mental Health Act we can help to give you the best chance of obtaining your rapid release, working with experienced, distinguished,  ‘heavyweight, Psychiatrists, known nationwide to the Mental Health Tribunal and Courts.

Consult the experts –For more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020-7381-8111 or email law@hylton-potts.com

 

How can I be discharged from detention under section 2 or 3?

You can:

  1. Ask your Responsible clinician (RC) to discharge you. Your RC must discharge you if the medical conditions that justified your admission under the Act no longer apply.
  2. Ask for a meeting with the hospital managers and ask them to consider discharging you.
  3. Ask your nearest relative to discharge you by giving the hospital managers at least 72 hours’ notice in writing. Once this is done, provided your RC does not object, your nearest relative can discharge you and take you from where you are being detained. However, the RC can stop your nearest relative from discharging you by making a report to the hospital managers before the 72 hours are up, that in his or her view, you would act in a manner dangerous to yourself or others.
  4. Apply to the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) (see ‘Glossary’) to be discharged. You will be able to get legal aid to pay for a solicitor to help you with your appeal to the tribunal and during the hearing. It is your right to have legal aid for the tribunal, no matter what your income or how much money or property you have.

 

When should I apply to the Mental Health Tribunal?

If you are detained under section 2, you should apply to the tribunal within 14 days of being detained; under section 3, apply once at any time within your first six months.

If your RC renews your section 3, you have the right to apply again during your second 6 months of detention. If your section is renewed again, you then have the right to apply once during each 12 months of further detention.

If your nearest relative gives notice that they wish to discharge you from section 3 and your RC prevents them from discharging you by making a report to the hospital managers, your nearest relative can also apply to the MHT for you to be discharged. But they must apply within 28 days of your RC making their report to the hospital managers.

 

If you do not apply to the Mental Health Tribunal:

  1. in the first six months of detention, your case will be referred automatically to the tribunal, without you having to apply. After that, your case will be referred automatically every 3 years if it has not gone to a tribunal
  2. if you are under 18, it will go automatically to the tribunal after one year, if you have not applied yourself.

 

What will happen before the hearing?

A doctor and a social worker will produce reports, and copies will be sent to you or your solicitor, and to the tribunal office. Your solicitor will discuss these with you and possibly instruct a doctor to make an independent report on your behalf.

The medical member of the tribunal will visit you before the hearing in order to form a view on your mental health, and he or she will give the other members of the panel an opinion.

 

What will happen at the hearing?

The hearing itself will be more informal than a court. The president should make every effort to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Everybody present will have the opportunity to have their say and ask questions of the others. The order in which questions are asked is decided by the president; and this may vary. The tribunal will decide whether your detention should continue. The decision may be given to you soon after the hearing otherwise it will be posted to you a few days afterwards.

 

What powers does the Mental Health Tribunal have?

This depends on what section you are detained under. Remember that you can have free advice and representation from a solicitor, so do contact one. The detailed rules are quite complex, but generally the tribunal has the following powers:

  1. If you are not a restricted patient, the tribunal can discharge you immediately or set a later date for discharge.
  2. If you are a restricted patient and were not transferred from prison, the tribunal can still discharge you, with or without conditions.
  3. If you were transferred from prison and are restricted, the tribunal can only recommend to the Secretary of State for Justice that you be discharged.
  4. If you are not discharged, the tribunal may also make recommendations regarding your future care, whether formal or informal.
  5. Ask for a meeting with the hospital managers and ask them to consider discharging you.
  6.  Ask your nearest relative to discharge you by giving the hospital managers at least 72 hours’ notice in writing. Once this is done, provided your RC does not object, your nearest relative can discharge you and take you from where you are being detained. However, the RC can stop your nearest relative from discharging you by making a report to the hospital managers before the 72 hours are up, that in his or her view, you would act in a manner dangerous to yourself or others.
  7.  Apply to the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) (see ‘Glossary’) to be discharged. You will be able to get legal aid to pay for a solicitor to help you with your appeal to the tribunal and during the hearing. It is your right to have legal aid for  the tribunal, no matter what your income or how much money or property you have.

 

When should I apply to the Mental Health Tribunal?

If you are detained under section 2, you should apply to the tribunal within 14 days of being detained; under section 3, apply once at any time within your first six months.

If your RC renews your section 3, you have the right to apply again during your second 6 months of detention. If your section is renewed again, you then have the right to apply once during each 12 months of further detention.

If your nearest relative gives notice that they wish to discharge you from section 3 and your RC prevents them from discharging you by making a report to the hospital managers, your nearest relative can also apply to the MHT for you to be discharged. But they must apply within 28 days of your RC making their report to the hospital managers.

If you do not apply to the Mental Health Tribunal:

  1. in the first six months of detention, your case will be referred automatically to the tribunal, without you having to apply. After that, your case will be referred automatically every 3 years if it has not gone to a tribunal
  2. if you are under 18, it will go automatically to the tribunal after one year, if you have not applied yourself.

 

What will happen before the hearing?

A doctor and a social worker will produce reports, and copies will be sent to you or your solicitor, and to the tribunal office. Your solicitor will discuss these with you and possibly instruct a doctor to make an independent report on your behalf.

The medical member of the tribunal will visit you before the hearing in order to form a view on your mental health, and he or she will give the other members of the panel an opinion.

 

What will happen at the hearing?

The hearing itself will be more informal than a court. The president should make every effort to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Everybody present will have the opportunity to have their say and ask questions of the others. The order in which questions are asked is decided by the president; and this may vary. The tribunal will decide whether your detention should continue. The decision may be given to you soon after the hearing otherwise it will be posted to you a few days afterwards.

 

What powers does the Mental Health Tribunal have?

This depends on what section you are detained under. Remember that you can have free advice and representation from a solicitor, so do contact one. The detailed rules are quite complex, but generally the tribunal has the following powers:

  1. If you are not a restricted patient, the tribunal can discharge you immediately or set a later date for discharge.
  2. If you are a restricted patient and were not transferred from prison, the tribunal can still discharge you, with or without conditions.
  3. If you were transferred from prison and are restricted, the tribunal can only recommend to the Secretary of State for Justice that you be discharged.
  4. If you are not discharged, the tribunal may also make recommendations regarding your future care, whether formal or informal. 

If you are sectioned we can help you to give you the best chance of obtaining your rapid release, working with an experienced a distinguished Psychiatrist.  

Consult the experts-for more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020 73818 8111 or email

law@hylton-potts.com