We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

Listen

14 How do I appeal?

Cartoon illustration to support information

  • What is an appeal?
  • How do I appeal?
  • When can I appeal to the Tribunal?
  • When can I not appeal to the Tribunal?
  • When can I appeal to the court?
  • What is the Mental Welfare Commission?

What is an appeal?

If you become ill, you may have compulsory care or treatment. This means you can be given treatment even if you do not want it. The Mental Health Tribunal is the organisation that decides if you need compulsory care and treatment.

If you do not agree, you can appeal. This means you can:

  • tell the Tribunal you do not agree
  • ask the Tribunal to change their decision.

Cartoon illustration to support information

Darren has a compulsory treatment order. He thinks he is now much better. He appeals to the Tribunal to stop his order. His named person, Sean, helps him to do this.

How do I appeal?

You or your named person or your solicitor should write to the Tribunal. Your named person is someone you choose to look out for you if you have to have treatment. They help decide about your care and treatment.

Darren writes to the Tribunal office. He tells the Tribunal why they should stop the order. Sean helps him with the letter.

You must tell them:

1. Your name and address.
2. Your named person's name and address.
3. Your address if you are in hospital or living at another place.
4. The reasons for your appeal.

Cartoon illustration to support information

What happens next?

The Tribunal arranges a hearing. This is a special meeting.

Darren and Sean, his named person, go to the Tribunal hearing. Darren's doctor and mental health officer also go to the meeting.

The Tribunal read and discuss all the information about you and your case. They listen to what everyone has to say. They then decide what to do about your care and treatment.,

The Tribunal read all the information. This includes reports from Darren's doctor and his mental health officer. They listen to Darren and everyone else. They decide to stop Darren's compulsory treatment order.

If your appeal is successful, the Tribunal changes the decision about your care and treatment.

If your appeal is not successful, the Tribunal tell you how to make another appeal. You may be able to appeal to the Tribunal again or you may be able to appeal to the court.

Mental health officer: is 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.

When can I appeal to the Tribunal?

1. Short-term detention certificate

You can be held in hospital for Time Logo 28 days for treatment.

You and your named person can appeal and have this stopped.

2. Compulsory treatment order

You have treatment even if you do not want it.

You and your named person can appeal. You can ask the Tribunal to change or cancel your order. (Usually after Time Logo 3 months.)

If you are not successful, you can appeal again.

3. Compulsion order

The court says you must have treatment in hospital or in the community for Time Logo 6 months.

You and your named person can appeal. You can ask the Tribunal to change or stop the order.

4. Restriction order

If you have a Compulsion Order the court can also give you a Restriction Order. This means that Scottish Ministers must agree for you to move to another hospital or to leave the hospital.

You and your named person can appeal to the Tribunal:

  • to make changes to the order
  • to cancel/stop the order.

5. Hospital Direction/Transfer for Treatment Direction

If you are given a prison sentence, the court can give you a Hospital Direction. This means you must have hospital treatment for your mental disorder.

The court can also give you a Transfer for Treatment Direction. This means Scottish Ministers must agree for you to leave hospital or move hospital.

You and your named person can appeal to the Tribunal:

  • to make changes to this order
  • to cancel/stop this order.

If you are successful, you return to prison for the rest of your prison sentence.

6. Security levels

If you are in the State Hospital, you can appeal to the Tribunal. You can say that you do not need to be held with so much security. Others can also appeal for you. These are:

  • your named person
  • your guardian or welfare attorney
  • Mental Welfare Commission the organisation that looks after those who need help because of a mental disorder.

If you are successful, you will be moved to another hospital in the time agreed by the Tribunal. If you are not the hospital must tell the Tribunal and there will be another hearing.

7. Transfer to a hospital in Scotland

Your doctor may think you should be moved to another hospital for care and treatment. If you do not agree, you or your named person can appeal to the Tribunal.

If you are successful, you will not have to move hospital. If you have already moved then you can go back to the hospital you were in.

You must appeal within Time Logo 28 days of being told. (If you are moving to the State Hospital you must appeal within Time Logo 12 weeks.)

8. Transfer to a hospital outside Scotland

Your doctor may think you should be moved to a hospital in another country. If you do not agree you should tell Scottish Ministers within Time Logo 7 days.

You can appeal to the Tribunal. You cannot be moved until the Tribunal has decided your appeal.

You cannot appeal to the Tribunal in Scotland after you have moved. (You can appeal to the court in the country you have been moved to)

9. Appeal against unlawful detention

If you are in hospital and not having compulsory treatment, you can discharge yourself. This means you can leave when you want to.

If the hospital does not allow you to leave, you can appeal to the Tribunal. You can ask the Tribunal to tell the hospital to discharge you. Others can appeal for you:

  • your named person
  • your mental health officer
  • the Mental Welfare Commission
  • your guardian or welfare attorney
  • others who look after your care and welfare - your family
  • if you are a child your parent/carer.

When can I not appeal to the Tribunal?

1. Emergency detention order

Emergency detention order means you can be kept in hospital and have treatment for Time Logo 3 days.

You cannot appeal.

2. An interim compulsory treatment order

You cannot appeal.

The Tribunal must hold a hearing to agree to the interim order within Time Logo 28 days of making the order. You will be able to say what you think at the hearing.

3. An interim compulsion order

You cannot appeal.

The Tribunal must hold a hearing to agree to the interim order within Time Logo 28 days of making the order. You will be able to say what you think at the hearing.

4. Transfer for treatment

If you are on remand, and sent to hospital for assessment or treatment (or convicted but awaiting final disposal of your case) you cannot appeal to the Tribunal as the court is still considering your case.

When can I appeal to the court?

When the Tribunal decides about your appeal, they tell you what to do if you are unhappy about it.

You can appeal to the court within Time Logo 21 days.

If your appeal is successful, the court:

  • gives you a new decision

or

  • sends the case back to the Tribunal.

What is the Mental Welfare Commission?

The Mental Welfare Commission is the organisation who looks after people who need help because of a mental disorder. They make sure all treatment follows the law. If you or your carer want to ask about your rights you can phone Telephone Logo 0800 389 6809 (open 9 - 5 from Monday - Friday).

If the Commission is unhappy about your care and treatment, they find out more about your needs.

The new law gives the Commission power to change compulsory orders. They only do this in very special situations.

They usually ask ask the Tribunal to decide what is best for you.