Our experience includes representing patients at private and NHS specialist hospitals, including Rampton, a high security psychiatric hospital in Nottinghamshire, and our expertise is demonstrated by our membership of the Law Society’s accreditation scheme for mental health. This means that our expertise in this area of the law has been verified and our accomplishment recognised by the Law Society, the body that represents solicitors in England and Wales.
The Mental Health Act 1983
We advise individuals detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, including both people detained in hospital and those subject to a community treatment order, and provide representation at Mental Health Tribunals and Hospital Managers Hearings.
Mental Health Tribunals have the power to discharge patients immediately, or at a set date in the future, or make recommendations about future care, agree leave in the community or transfer the patient to another hospital. Hospital Managers Hearings can discharge a patient, renew their detention or refer certain cases to a tribunal.
We also act for family members of detained individuals in County Court proceedings. Under the Mental Health Act, an individual’s nearest relative – their spouse, child, parent or other family member – has certain rights depending on the type of section involved. These rights can include:
- to be consulted before detention takes effect
- to ask for the individual to be discharged
- to apply to the Mental Health Tribunal themselves.
The Mental Capacity Act 2007
We advise individuals assessed as lacking capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2007 and their families, assisting them in challenging decisions and advising on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards introduced by the Act.
These safeguards govern the authorisation process that must be followed when someone lacks the capacity to make decisions about their own care and it is decided that it is in their best interests for them to be deprived of their liberty.
Our mental health legal work is generally publicly funded, which means that the cost of the legal fees is paid by the appropriate authority.
For more information on our mental health legal services, please contact us.