Section 37 - Hospital order
This section looks at section 37 of the Mental Health Act. It looks at the professionals you might come across, when this section is used, how it is carried out, what your rights are and what could happen afterwards.
- The Mental Health Act is the law which can be used to admit you to hospital for assessment and/or treatment for a mental illness.
- To be detained or ‘sectioned’, you must have a mental disorder which needs assessment or treatment.
- You must need assessment or treatment in hospital in the interests of your own health or safety or to protect other people.
- The criminal courts can use section 37 if they think you should be in hospital instead of prison.
- It is a sentence and does not have a fixed end date.
- You can appeal to the courts if you do not agree with this sentence. There are strict timescales if you want to do this, so it is a good idea to get legal advice from a solicitor.
- You can also appeal to the hospital managers and the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT).
- The hospital can treat you without your permission.
- You can be discharged from this section by your Responsible Clinician (the person responsible for your care), the hospital managers or the tribunal.
- When you are discharged, you are entitled to free aftercare services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act. This can include things such as supported housing.
This information has been written in accordance with the Rethink Mental Illness Advice & Information Service Information Standard. Last reviewed in August 2013. Next review August 2015.
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