Section 117 Aftercare
This section sets out the rules on who qualifies for free aftercare under section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983. It also looks at what qualifies as an aftercare service and at what point entitlement to free aftercare will end. This section uses the term ‘patient’ where appropriate, as this is the term that will be used in hospital.
- Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) places a joint legal duty on the NHS and social services to provide free aftercare services to people who have been detained under sections 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the MHA.
- There is no definition of aftercare in the legislation, but services could include crisis planning, accommodation, help with managing money and services to meet other needs, such as psychological needs.
- The section 117 duty lasts as long as someone needs aftercare services for their mental health condition. It can only end when both the health and social services authorities have assessed that someone is no longer in need of aftercare services
- If you feel you aren’t receiving the aftercare services you need, you could talk to your contacts in social services and the NHS about your concerns, perhaps with the help of an advocate. If this does not work, you could consider making a formal complaint or seeking legal advice
- If the NHS or social services have charged you for aftercare services you received whilst under section 117, you should be able to claim this money back.
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