Most people who are detained under the Mental Health Act (sectioned) have a right to appeal against that detention. We hold accreditation under the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme to advise and represent in relation to the following issues.
Mental Health Tribunal
A person can only continue to be detained under the Mental Health Act if the legal criteria for that detention apply. The Tribunal is an independent body which hears evidence from the patient and the clinical team then makes a decision about whether the detention should continue.
The Tribunal has the power to discharge a person from detention when they are detained under a “civil” section. However, the Tribunal has fewer powers in some cases where the person was detained under the Mental Health Act as a result of criminal proceedings or a transfer from prison. The rules about how often a person can apply to the Tribunal vary depending on the section of the Mental Health Act that they are detained under.
We hold a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and representation at Tribunals attracts non-means tested legal aid. This means that a detained patient does not need to pay for a solicitor to represent them at a Tribunal.
Hospital Managers’ Hearings
Hospital Managers also have the power to discharge people from detention under the Mental Health Act. Hospital Managers consider a patient’s case when detention is renewed, the patient applies to them to consider their case or a nearest relative has attempted to direct discharge and this has been barred.
Representation at Hospital Managers’ Hearings is available under legal aid, subject to a means test.
Community Treatment Orders (CTO)
When a person has been detained under the Mental Health Act, their responsible clinician (psychiatrist) can discharge them onto a Community Treatment Order (CTO). The CTO imposes conditions on the person, e.g. that they should live in a certain place or take their prescribed medication.
A CTO has the power of recall, meaning that the person can be recalled to hospital if their condition deteriorates. If their responsible clinician thinks they need further hospital treatment, the CTO can be revoked altogether. Where a CTO is revoked, the person reverts to being detained.
As with detention under the Mental Health Act, a person subject to CTO has the right to apply to the Mental Health Tribunal or Hospital Managers to request that they are discharged. Where a CTO is revoked, a Mental Health Tribunal will take place even where the patient does not ask for it.
The nearest relative under the Mental Health Act is a relative with certain powers in relation to the patient’s detention and their discharge. These powers include:
– The power to object to the patient’s detention;
– The power to direct that the patient is discharged from detention;
– The right to receive certain information and be consulted.
The power of the nearest relative depends on which section of the Mental Health Act the patient is detained under. In some circumstances where the nearest relative directs discharge, the responsible clinician has the power to bar (overrule) that decision, this is likely to trigger a Hospital Managers’ Hearing. In those circumstances, the nearest relative may also have their own right to apply to the Tribunal. Again, this depends on which section of the Mental Health Act the patient is detained under.
If there are concerns about the actions of a nearest relative, an application can be made to the County Court to displace them from that role.
Legal Aid is available to nearest relatives. This is usually subject to a means test except where they have the right to apply the Tribunal, where non-means tested legal aid is available.
In certain circumstances we can assist with other matters that arise under the Mental Health Act, including:
– Challenging decisions that are made about care and treatment after detention (section 117 aftercare);
– Appeals to the Upper Tribunal where there is a right to appeal the decision of the Mental Health Tribunal;
– Mental capacity – Court of Protection Health and Welfare Disputes
– Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)
If you would like further information about our services or your eligibility for legal aid you are welcome to contact Eilish Ferry-Kennington on 0191 731 4626 or our main number on 0191 500 6989.
Request a call back
“You’ve been brilliant..
Patient, professional, clearly an expert in your field, but also very kind and understanding..
I would also recommend you to anyone I know who may be unfortunate enough to have similar problems.”
– Mr P, North Yorkshire
“…enjoyed dealing with you. You have a nice friendly manner but are also very professional.”
– Mr T, Durham
‘Gwen at EMG solicitors has supported us from day one. They have helped us build and mould our business and we couldn’t have done it without them. Their expertise has been second to none, not only have they been our solicitors but also our friend.’
– Flat White Cafe
“No one sets out to be divorced, it is the most painful experience I have ever been through; and to be honest, although this sounds cliched, I don’t think I would have survived it without the support and guidance of Natalia. Much more than just a solicitor she was more like a colleague, a friend, an allied, someone in my corner. When I was blinded by pain, grief or anger Natalia was there as a sounding board and a voice a reason to ensure that the future for me and my two beautiful children was secure. Honest, professional and reliable throughout the whole process I felt I could call on her at anytime. I felt supported and confident in my decisions, fully informed by Natalia’s expertise. I’m proud to say that my ex husband and I managed to settle financial and family matters outside of court and without the need for costly mitigation due to the advice and guidance I received from Natalia. I hope I never have to go through the process again, but if I did I would call on Natalia and EMG solicitors again in a heartbeat.”
A first class service. Eilish Ferry-Kennington was excellent.
We were very pleased with the attention and service we received from Ms Turnbull. She was friendly and professional.She listened to our requirements and explained the possible options clearly and in language we could understand. The will-writing and further consultation with us was timely and efficient. The outcome met our expectations and more, and we are very grateful for the assistance we received from Ms Turnbull.
Ursula spoke at great length with me offering advice all the way. She was a great help. Not many would have been as engaging, or helpful. Contacting a solicitor can be a daunting experience but Ursula was really friendly.
Hi Julia. Thank you so much for all your efforts to help me . I have to say this would not have happened without you! You are all an amazing team and I really feel you all care !! So thankful to pat for recommending you all , she’s such a lovely lady . Our house is beautiful and we are on cloud 9! And more to the point, I’m finally rid of that bully for good! I would highly recommend you and your team to anyone! Thanks a million! JW.
I would like to say a sincere thanks to Jemma and EMG for helping me through a difficult time with a long term tenant who, through ill health was unable to carry on paying the rent and has since moved on to long term care, via the court of protection.
If Jemma hadn’t become involved and guided me through the difficult procedures to recover the arrears and regain the possession, I think we may have been struggling through without resolution for many months or even years.
I would certainly recommend Jemma and EMG to others in this position as you get the feeling that they really do care about your problems, but also in a very professional manner too.