Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) - Getting CTO
Will I get a community treatment order (CTO)?
If you are in hospital, you could be under a section of the Mental Health Act 1983.
You will only get a CTO before you are discharged from section 3 or 37 of the Mental Health Act. Not everyone is put on a CTO before they are discharged.
Doctors cannot put you on a CTO if you are on a section 2 or a voluntary patient.
Your responsible clinician (RC) can arrange for you to have a CTO, ‘guardianship’ or ‘leave of absence’ instead of discharging you completely.
Criteria for a community Treatment Order
Your RC must look at criteria before they can make a CTO for you. They must make sure that :
- you have a mental condition that needs medical treatment,
- you need treatment for your health or safety, or to keep other people safe,
- you can get the same treatment in the community,
- they can show why they need to bring you back you to hospital if necessary, and
- you can get the right treatment in the community.
Your responsible clinician also needs to show that :
- you will not be able to manage your mental health without a CTO, and
- your health will get worse if you stop your treatment in the community.
Your responsible clinician should look at different things to help them decide if a CTO is the best option for you. This could include :
- your mental health history,
- your contact with services,
- how you engage with treatment,
- your attitude towards treatment and risk of becoming unwell in the future, and
- if you will get support from family, friends or carers.
A responsible clinician (RC) and an approved mental health professional (AMHP) must both agree to make a CTO.
An AMHP and RC can only put you on a CTO when you are still in hospital on a section 3 or 37. They can do this when they are getting ready to discharge you from hospital. They cannot put you on a CTO after they have discharged you from your section.
Your RC should tell you if they are thinking about making a CTO. You should work with your RC and AMHP to decide what treatment you will have and where you will have it.
You can ask your carer or relatives to be involved in the discussion about your CTO. Or, you can have an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) to support you. An IMHA can tell you what your rights are and help you to put your views across. They are independent to the NHS and free to use.
You can also get support from an IMHA when you are on a CTO.
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