Mental Health Act - compulsory treatment orders: guide

A guide to compulsory treatment orders relating to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

5 Application for a compulsory treatment order

A Tribunal is responsible for deciding whether you should be put on a compulsory treatment order ( CTO). It is made up of a panel of three people:

(i) A lawyer

(ii) A psychiatrist

(iii) A person with other skills and experience, e.g. a nurse, social worker or someone with personal experience of mental disorder.

An application for a CTO has to be made to the Tribunal by a mental health officer ( MHO), a specially trained social worker who has duties under the Act.

It must include:

  • Two medical reports by doctors who have examined you and
  • A report by the MHO making the application and
  • A proposed care plan setting out the care and treatment that you would be given if you were put on the CTO.

Both you and your named person should be given notice if an application for a CTO is to be made. The MHO who is making the application should explain what rights you have, e.g. to challenge the application and have your views heard by the Tribunal. He/she should also give you information about independent advocacy services which can help support you to ensure your views are heard. If you need help contacting independent advocacy services, your MHO should help you with this.

You may want to seek legal advice from a solicitor who can advise you about your rights. You should be entitled to legal aid which would cover the cost of advice and having a solicitor to act for you at any hearing. If you want to challenge the application, a solicitor might also be able to get an independent medical report to help you to do this.

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