Section 47 49 - Transfer of a sentenced prisoner to hospital
This section looks at section 47/49 of the Mental Health Act 1983. It explains when and how courts use this section. And it explains what your rights are on this section.
- The Mental Health Act is the law that says when you can be detained in hospital.
- Section 47 of the Mental Health Act allows mental health professionals to transfer you from prison to hospital for treatment.
- To be transferred from prison to hospital, you must be so unwell that you need treatment in hospital.
- The prison will ask the Secretary of State for Justice for permission to transfer you to hospital.
- Often the Secretary of State will add a restriction direction to section 47. A restriction direction is known as a ‘section 49’. When this happens, the section is called a section 47/49.
- The hospital can treat you without your permission.
- You could go back to prison if your mental health gets better.
- If you are still in hospital when your sentence ends, the hospital can discharge you. If you need to stay in hospital, they will move you to a different section, called a ‘notional’ section 37.
- If you do not agree with being on this section, you can appeal to a First-tier Tribunal (FTT). And to the hospital managers. But, for you to be discharged, the Secretary of State for Justice has to agree with their decision.
- When you are discharged, you are entitled to free aftercare services under section 117 of the Mental Health Act.
This section covers:
- What professionals might be involved in this section?
- When do prisons use this section?
- How do prisons use this section?
- How long will I be on this section?
- What are my rights?
- Can my doctor treat me if I don’t want it?
- What might happen after this section?
- What sort of aftercare will I get?
This information has been written in accordance with the Rethink Mental Illness Advice & Information Service Information Standard. Last reviewed in August 2018. Next review June 2021.
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