The Mental Health Law details a set of compulsory orders that are invoked when an individual needs to be detained for their own health and safety or the safety of others. They must be formally diagnosed as suffering from a mental health condition for which they require inpatient treatment.
A community treatment order is used when an individual needs to be supervised for their own health or safety, or for the protection of others, or to prevent exploitation by others.
There are six types of compulsory orders under the law:
- This allows an individual to be sectioned at an inpatient unit for up to 28 days.
- It requires an application to be made by the Approved Social Worker and 1 medical recommendation. This could be from the patients GP or a Consultant Psychiatrist.
- The individual can make an application to the Mental Health Review Panel (MRHP) after 5 days.
- After 28 days an application must be made for a Treatment Order or the sectioning no longer applies.
- This allows an individual to be sectioned at an inpatient unit for up to 6 months.
- It requires an application to be made by the Approved Social Worker and 2 medical recommendations with no more than 5 days between the 2 medical examinations.
- Individuals may make an application to the MHRP once during each 6 month period of detention.
Police Urgency Order
- This allows for compulsory admission to a Place of Safety for up to 72 hours, allowing the individual to be interviewed by an Approved Social Worker and medical officer.
- Grounds for the Police Urgercy Order require the individual to in a public place and appears to be suffering from a mental health condition that warrants sectioning for a limited period or the individual needs to be detained for their own health or safety, or for the protection of others.
- Treatment can only be administered with the individual's valid consent.
- Medical Holding allows for the admission of a voluntary patient for a period not exceeding 72 hours.
- This is usually applied to a voluntary patient who has expressed their desire to leave hospital before there is time to complete an assessment or treatment order based on concerns for the safety of the patient and/or others.
- Medical Holding is extended to all appropriate doctors in charge of the patient's care at that time.
- Nurse's holding power will allow a Registered Mental Health Nurse to detain a voluntary patient who is already being treated for a mental health condition, for up to 8 hours.
- It can only be applied if the patient is either indicating verbally or otherwise that they do not wish to leave hospital; and it is not possible to immediately obtain a doctor for the purpose of applying a Medical Holding.
- This order cannot be renewed and ends after 8 hours or on application of a Medical Holding.
Community Treatment Order
- This allows for compulsory treatment in a community setting for up to 6 months. It is renewable, in the first instance for a further 6 months, and thereafter each 12 months.
- He/She is suffering from a mental health condition of a nature that requires treatment and supervision in the community.
- He/She needs to be supervised for their own health or safety, or for the protection of others.
- Community Treatment Orders require the patient to reside at a specified place and convey them there if necessary
- It requires the patient to attend at places and times specified for the purpose of medical treatment, occupation, education or training.
- Application for a Community Treatment Order can be made by a Responsible Medical Officer (RMO) and requires two medical reccomendations from the RMO and the patients GP.