Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) - Other options
Will I get guardianship or leave of absence instead of a community treatment order (CTO)?
Your responsible clinician (RC) will think about which option is the best for your needs. From our experience a CTO is the most common option for people who have a mental Illness.
Guardianship is not often used. Most people will be able to get the care that they need in the community without the need for a guardian.
You are more likely to have guardianship instead of a community treatment order (CTO) if :
- focus is on your welfare rather than on your medical treatment,
- it is likely that you would need treatment in hospital without the help of a guardian, and
- there is little risk that you will need to go back to hospital under the Mental Health Act,
- there is little risk that you will need to go back to hospital quickly, or
- you need the local authority to decide where you should live.
Guardianship means that you will have a guardian. A guardian may be someone from your local authority, such as asocial worker. A guardian may also be someone the local authority has chose known as a‘private guardian.’This person could be a relative or friend.
Your guardian will have 3 legal powers. They can:
- decide where you will live,
- arrange for you to go to appointments, such as to the hospital for medical treatment,
- make sure a doctor, approved mental health professional (AMHP) or other professional is able to visit you at your home.
Guardianship may be a good option for you, if you:
- work well with your guardian and local authority to help your recovery,
- need someone to decide where you should live, and
- need someone to make sure that doctors, approved mental health professionals (AMHP) and other professionals can visit you in your home.
Guardianship does not give anyone the right to treat you if you don’t agree to it.
Leave of absence
There are sometimes when your RC may give you leave of absence instead of a CTO. This would be if it is short-term leave. Short-term leave will usually be less than 7 days. The responsible clinician (RC) who is agreeing to leave will explain what you can do during that time.
They can agree to longer-term leave if they want to see how you get on out of hospital. If the RC wants to give you long-term leave they need to explain why they don’t want to use a CTO or to discharge you. They might use longer-term leave to decide if you are ready for discharge.
A leave of absence is known as ‘section 17 leave’. If you are in hospital under the Mental Health Act you cannot leave the ward whenever you want to. Your RC may let you have more leave every week for a few weeks. Leave of absence can last up to 1 month.
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Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays