Sections of the mental health act
* Section 1 of the mental health act 1983 was amended in 2007. This section of the act defines a mental disorder as 'any disorder or disability of mind' it goes on to state that a “learning disability” is define as a state of arrested or incomplete development of the mind which also includes impairment of intelligence and social functioning (MHOL, 2010). For the purpose of the act a person who has a learning disability is not considered to be suffering from a mental disorder nor require any hospital treatment unless their disability has been associated with “abnormal aggressive behaviour or irresponsible conduct on their part”. Mind 2010 point out that a person could be detained without their disability without their disability being described as above under the emergency provision of section 135, which is a warrant to search and remove a patient; 136, if found in a public place, s4 assessment of emergency admission, s5, compulsory detention of an informal patients whom are already in hospital and s2 admission for assessment. The department of health (DoH)codes of practice (2010) goes on to state When determining if a person has a disorder or disability of the mind the skills of a professional who has good clinical knowledge of what constitutes a mental disorder must be sort. * Section 2
The use of this section of the act allows a person defined under s1 of the act to be compulsory detain to a hospital or guardianship. In order for a person to be detained under this section three people must agree that you need to be detained unless there are exceptional circumstances (rethink 2010). The People involved in this decision making process should be an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) or the patients nearest relative and a doctor who has received special training and a registered medical practitioner. The DoH (2008, p3) codes of practice point out, that It is good practice for one of the doctors involved in this process to be someone who has some knowledge of the patient. Once these people have agreed that a person needs to be detained for their own safety or the safety of others; an application for a bed must be made to the hospital. The person who makes the application must have seen the patient within the last fourteen days. Whilst the doctors must have seen the patient together or within five days of each other (rethink, 2010). Patients held under this section of the act can be detained for up to twenty- eight days and during this time there mental state should be assessed. This section of the act is used to detain a person who has not committed any criminal offences. During the patients admission for assessment two doctors must assess and confirm that the patient is suffering from a ‘mental disorder of a nature or degree which warrants detention’ (MHA, date) in hospital for assessment which may be followed by treatment. And that it is necessary to detain such a person in the interest of their own health and safety and/or that of others for example the public. A person who has been detained under this section of the act can be discharge by a responsible clinician or a hospital manager. The patients NR can also ask for the patient be discharged however they must give72 hours notice of intent to do so. A patient can request that their case be brought before a mental health tribunal (MHT) hearing as long as they request this within the first 14 days of their admission. A s2 admission cannot be renewed. Patients who need medical treatment following this period of assesment will then be detained under s3 of the act. * Section 3 – treatment 6 month then 6 month then renewable 12 monthly * Section 4 admission in an emergency lasts up to 72 hours * Section 5 – emergency admission to allow a person’s mental state to be assessed can only be do if recomened by a doctor and a mental health social worker must be Section 37 – hospital order
References: Department of Health (2008). Code of Practice: Mental Health Act 1083. London: The Stationary office. P250-256
Citing from electronic journals:
HMSO. (2010) S117 of the mental health act. Available: http://www.mentalhealthlaw.co.uk/117. Last accessed 23rd Oct 2011.
MIND. (2011) mental health act. Available:
http://www.mind.org.uk/help/rights_and_legislation/mental_health_act_1983_an_outline_guide. Last accessed 23rd Oct 2011.
DWP. (2011) mental health act. Available: http://dwp.gov.uk/publications/specialist-guides/medical-conditions/mental-health-act.shtml. Last accessed 23rd Oct 2011
Department of health. (2011) available: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Mentalhealth/InformationontheMentalHealthAct/DH_4001816 last accessed 23rd Oct 2011
Rethink (2010) avaliable: http://www.rethink.org/living_with_mental_illness/rights_and_laws/rights_to_care_treatment/section_117_aftercare/section_117_aftercar.html last accessed 23 Oct 2011.
(MHLO) Mental Health Law Online (2010) available: http://www.mentalhealthlaw.co.uk/Main_Page last accessed 23rd Oct 2011.
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