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Nobody should ever be detained in hospital against their will unless he or she is suffering from a mental disorder which justifies the detention, and everyone who is detained has the legal right to appeal against the detention. It is possible that a person could be detained only for an assessment to be carried out as to whether or not that person does suffer from any form of mental disorder. The rules which govern whether or not detention in hospital is lawful can be very complicated. Only authorised professionals can carry out assessments, and the grounds on which a person may be lawfully detained are very clearly defined under the Mental Health Act. As a general rule, a person should never be detained in hospital unless he or she is suffering or is suspected of suffering from some form of mental disorder that puts that person or others at risk, and that the detention is necessary for the mental disorder itself to be assessed or treated.

There are a number of different procedures in the Mental Health Act which can lead to people being detained in hospital against their will, and this is commonly known as “being sectioned". If a person is sectioned, this generally entitles the detained person to appeal against the detention, and Donovan Newton solicitors provide advice and representation in these circumstances. Being sectioned entitles the detained person to receive this advice and representation free of charge under the current public funding (legal aid) arrangements. An appeal can be made to the mental health tribunal, and to the relevant hospital managers, who have the power to discharge a detained person if the legal grounds for detention are not established.

After a detained person is discharged from hospital, in some circumstances there is a legal obligation on the local authority to provide after-care support. We can also assist in these circumstances, and if appropriate may be able to assist in ensuring that the authority fulfils its obligations.

For more information on the different sections under which a person may be detained, please refer to the detailed information provided under the relevant heading.

For More Information On Our Specialist Mental Health Law Services
Call Donovan Newton Today On 0115 985 6600 or 07977 114 148
Fax: 0115 954 1212
(Coventry Office On 02476 236 426)