Section 47 49 - Transfer of a sentenced prisoner to hospital
This section looks at section 47/49 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.
- If you are a sentenced prisoner and have a mental illness, the prison may not be able to manage your mental illness.
- If so, the prison can ask the Secretary of State for Justice (Ministry of Justice) to transfer you to hospital using section 47/49 of the Mental Health Act.
- You could be moved back to prison if your condition improves.
- If you reach the end of your prison sentence and you are still in hospital, you could be discharged from hospital. If you still need treatment in hospital, you could be moved to a different section (known as section 37 “notional”).
- You can appeal to the Hospital Managers and the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT) if you do not agree with being on this section.
- The hospital can treat you without your permission.
- 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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