Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) - FAQs
Frequently asked questions about going back to hospital
Will I have to go back to hospital if I break my community treatment order conditions?
If you break a condition you won’t go straight to hospital. Your responsible clinician (RC) should only recall you back to hospital so you don’t get unwell again or act in a risky way.
If you do not attend an appointment with your RC or second opinion appointed doctor (SOAD) you will probably be recalled. You might not be recalled if you have a good reason for not going to an appointment.
Will I have to go back to hospital if I stop taking my medication?
Your RC may recall you if you stop taking your medication. Your RC will only recall you if they think that you will become unwell again. You may be able to stop a recall if you agree to take medication again and talk about why you stopped it in the first place.
What will happen if I am recalled back to hospital?
If your RC recalls you to hospital they will give you a written recall notice. Anyone from your mental health team can give you the written notice. Your team should try and give you the notice in person but they can send the notice in the post.
When you get the recall notice you will have to go back to hospital. If your mental health is OK you can go to hospital on your own. You may have time to make arrangements. For example, get someone to look after your pet.
Your care coordinator can go to hospital with you. An ambulance or the police can take you to hospital if you are very unwell or being aggressive. Going back to hospital should be as stress free as possible. You can ask for a relative, carer or friend to come with you.
What will happen when I arrive at the hospital?
A psychiatrist will assess your mental health when you get to the hospital. They should do this within 72 hours. This will help the team to decide what the next step should be.
You will get treatment if you need it. They can give you treatment even if you don’t want it.
You can find out more about ‘Going into hospital’ here.
How long can my responsible clinician (RC) keep me in hospital?
Your RC can keep you in hospital for up to 72 hours while they decide what to do.
Your RC and AMHP will end your CTO if they decide to keep you in hospital for more than 72 hours. This is called revoking the CTO. They will put you back onto the section you were on before you had your CTO.
An AMHP must agree with your RC before they can revoke your CTO. If the AMHP does not agree with your RC, your CTO will not be revoked. This means that you will stay on your CTO.
Why has my CTO been revoked?
Your CTO may be revoked if:
- your RC thinks that you need treatment in hospital, and
- an AMHP agrees with the RC and believes that your CTO should be revoked.
What will happen if I do not go back to hospital?
If you do not go back to hospital they can say you are absent without leave (AWOL). Being AWOL means that they can bring you back to the hospital. Your hospital will have a policy on what happens when someone is AWOL so you can ask to see this. The police, a social worker, community psychiatric nurse, or AMHP can bring you back to hospital.
The hospital should ask the police to get involved if they think you are at risk. The local magistrate’s court can allow the police to go into your house and take you to hospital. If the police come into your house they should have a warrant to do this. You may hear this called warrant called section 135(2).
You can find out more about ‘Section 135’ here.
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Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
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