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The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

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11 Compulsory treatment orders

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  • What is a compulsory treatment order?
  • When might I get a compulsory treatment order?
  • Who decides if need a compulsory treatment order?
  • What are my rights?
  • How can I change my compulsory treatment order?
  • When does a compulsory treatment order end?

What is a compulsory treatment order?

A compulsory treatment order says some things that you have to do.

Some of these things might be that:

  • you have to stay in hospital
  • you have to go for medical treatment
  • you have to go to certain services
  • you have to stay at a particular pace in the community.

A compulsory treatment order lasts for Time Logo 6 months and can be renewed for another Time Logo 6 months. After that it can be renewed for periods of Time Logo 12 months.

When might I get a compulsory treatment order?

A compulsory treatment order can be made:

  • if medical treatment is available to help you
  • and If you don't get that treatment there is a big risk to you or someone else
  • and you are not able to make decisions about your treatment.

John's mental health officer, Kathleen, decides that John will not be safe if he does not have treatment. John is not able to decide about this. Kathleen decides she should ask the Tribunal for a compulsory treatment order. This means John will have treatment even though he does not want it.

Who decides if I need a compulsory treatment order?

Your mental health officer applies to the Tribunal. The Tribunal is the organisation that decides whether a compulsory treatment order should be made.

The application must include:

  • 2 medical reports by doctors who examined you
  • a report by the mental health officer
  • a care plan saying the care and treatment you get if you are put on the order.

Mental health officer: a specially trained social worker who helps people who have a mental disorder. He/she should tell you about your rights and make sure you get the care you need.

John's mental health officer, Kathleen, sends the reports and care plans to the Tribunal. She tells John and his named person, Joe, that she is asking for a compulsory treatment order. She also explains John's rights to him.

You and your named person must be told if an application for a compulsory treatment order is made. Your mental health officer must explain your rights to you.

  • You have the right to make your views heard by the Tribunal.
  • You have the right to appeal against a compulsory treatment order. Appeal means you ask the Tribunal to change their decision.
  • You have the right to an independent advocate. This is someone who helps you say what you think about your treatment. Your mental health officer must give you information about advocacy services and help you to contact them if you want to.
  • You can get legal advice from a solicitor. You should get legal aid to cover the costs of this. The solicitor might be able to help you get an independent medical report if you want to challenge the application for a compulsory treatment order.

The Tribunal must listen to your views and the views of your named person. The Tribunal must also take your advance statement into account. Advance statement is when you write down how you would like to be treated if you become ill in the future.

John goes to the Tribunal with his named person, Joe. They give the Tribunal their views. The Tribunal also read John's advance statement. They read all the other information about John and discuss what is best. They decide John should have a compulsory treatment order.

Temporary compulsory treatment order

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The Tribunal can make a temporary compulsory treatment order while they get more information about your needs. A temporary compulsory treatment order can last for up to Time Logo 28 days. The total time you can be on temporary compulsory treatment orders cannot be for more than Time Logo 56 days.

How can I change my compulsory treatment order?

The doctor in charge of your care can apply to the Tribunal to change your order. You or your named person can do this too.

John's compulsory treatment order says he must go the hospital every week to have treatment. John would like to have this treatment at his GP surgery. John decides to ask the Tribunal to change the compulsory treatment order.

Treatment

There are special rules about some treatments like ECT. If you are on a compulsory treatment order you can also be given treatment in an emergency.

When does a compulsory treatment order end?

Your Responsible Medical Officer (consultant), or the Tribunal can end your compulsory treatment order if they don't think you need it anymore. The Mental Welfare Commission can ask your doctor or the Tribunal to end your compulsory treatment order.

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