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22 Mental Health

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1. Introduction

2. What is the Mental Health Act for?

3. Who decides if I should be detained in hospital?

4. When can I be detained in hospital?

5. When can I be given compulsory treatment?

6. What treatment can I be given?

7. Who can discharge me from hospital?

8. What are my rights in hospital?

9. What if I am unhappy with my care and treatment?

If you are unhappy with your care or treatment, you can speak to your primary nurse (the named nurse who is responsible for co-ordinating your nursing care). They may be able to suggest how to sort out your problem or give you information on how to make a complaint.

If you are in a hospital in England the primary nurse can also put you in touch with the hospital's Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), which will be able to give you help and advice. If you want to make a complaint, the PALS should be able to help you or put you in touch with an independent organisation that may be able to help you.

If you are in a hospital in Wales, the primary nurse should be able to put you in touch with the local Community Health Council (CHC), which can advise you on making a complaint.

If you complain to the hospital and you are unhappy with what they do about your complaint, you can then complain to:

  • the Mental Health Act Commission; or
  • if you are in England, the Healthcare Commission.

If you are in England, contact the hospital's PALS about who to complain to. If you are in Wales, your local CHC will be able to help.

10. Will I get help when I leave hospital?

11. What powers do the police have against people with mental health problems?

12. Mental health and The Human Rights Act

13. Terms used in mental health law

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Camilla Parker, and independent consultant specialising in mental health law and policy.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: January 2007