Mental Health Act - compulsory treatment orders: guide

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

7 What decisions might the Tribunal make in an application for a CTO?

The Tribunal can decide to:

(i) Refuse the application or

(ii) Make an interim CTO or

(iii) Grant the application and make a CTO.

(i) When might the Tribunal refuse the application?

Where the Tribunal is satisfied that the criteria listed in box 1 above are not met, it may refuse the application, i.e. decide not to make a CTO.

(ii) When might the Tribunal make an Interim CTO?

In some circumstances, the Tribunal may decide to make an interim (temporary) CTO. This could be where the Tribunal needs further information before it can make a final decision and it will take some time to get that information, or perhaps, where you or your solicitor needs more time to prepare your case.

An interim CTO can last for up to 28 days. When the interim CTO runs out of time, the Tribunal can make another interim CTO, so long as the total time you are on interim CTOs is not more than 56 days.

Before the Tribunal can make an interim CTO, it has to give a range of people, including you and your named person, the chance to have your views heard and to give evidence. It also has to be sure that certain criteria are met - these are similar to the criteria for making a CTO ( see box 1).

If you are put on an interim CTO, you can be subject to the same range of requirements as if you were on an actual CTO. These are listed in box 2 below.

(iii) When might the Tribunal make a CTO?

If all of the criteria listed in box 1 are met, then the Tribunal may make a CTO. The CTO will set out a number of conditions that you will have to comply with. This will be a combination of the conditions listed in box 2 below, depending on whether your order is based in hospital, or in the community.

Box 2: Conditions you might have to comply with if you are on a CTO

  • That you have to stay in hospital
  • That you may be given medical treatment under the rules set out in part 16 of the Act
  • That you have to attend for medical treatment as instructed
  • That you have to attend certain community care services
  • That you have to stay at a particular place in the community
  • That you have to allow visits in your home by people involved in your care and treatment
  • That you have to notify your MHO if you want to change your address
  • That your MHO has to agree to any change in your address

These conditions can be varied (changed) during the course of the CTO. So, for example, you could start out on a hospital based order, and this could be changed to a community based order. If the doctor in charge of your care wants to change the conditions, he/she has to follow procedures set out in the Act. This involves him/her making an application to the Tribunal. You, and your named person, would be told about this, and would have a chance to give your views before the Tribunal makes a decision.

You, or your named person, can ask the Tribunal at certain times to change the conditions in your CTO.

There are rules set out in the Act about what happens if you are on a community based order and don't comply with ('breach') the conditions. This could involve you being admitted to hospital for assessment or treatment.

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