Under the Mental Health Act, if you have a “mental disorder” (see Glossary), you can be admitted to hospital against your wishes (becoming a formal patient) provided the processes in the Act are followed. Part 2 of the Act is a group of sections that covers your rights if this happens to you.

If you are detained in hospital, it is important to seek legal advice so that you can be sure that the hospital has taken the right procedures and you are detained legally. (For mental health solicitors and advice, see Civil Legal Advice and The Law Society.)

Who can apply to detain me in hospital?

The Mental Health Act 1983 gives approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) (see Glossary) the power to make an application to admit you to hospital under a section of the Act if they consider it necessary and the best way of ensuring you receive the right care and treatment.

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