Who is this guidance for?

Update: on 14 October, 2021 the Department of Health & Social Care said they are considering making appropriate changes to the guidance below. When they tell us more about any changes, we’ll update this guidance.

Because of the coronavirus crisis, professionals might have to change the way they use the Mental Health Act.  The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England (NHSE) have provided guidance to professionals on:   

  • The use of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act
  • The Hospital Managers panel
  • Mental Health Tribunals
  • Leave and visiting
  • The provision of Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)
  • The provision of Second Opinion Appointed Doctors (SOADs)

This guide explains how the guidance applies to you. It is for any members of the public who are affected by the Mental Health Act. Or anybody who wants to know more about the guidance.

Because of the coronavirus crisis, the government have also made some temporary changes to the Mental Health Act.   But at the moment, these changes have not been used.  So, professionals will be using the Mental Health Act in the normal way, other than the guidance below.   If professionals need to use the temporary changes to the Mental Health Act, we will issue further guidance on them.

Guidance on changes to the Mental Health Act

Click here to download this guidance as a PDF

© Rethink Mental Illness 2020

This page was last updated on 18 October, 2021.

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