People detained in hospital against their will have the right to challenge their detention, by applying to the hospital managers or the Mental Health Tribunal (or both).
Our mental health team are happy to advise anyone in this situation, and we routinely attend hospitals in order to do so. We provide a friendly and sympathetic service, and are available to advise anyone who finds themselves in hospital against their will.
People are normally detained under sections 2, 3, 37 or 37/41 of the Mental Health Act 1983, and the law in relation to each of these can be complicated and confusing. Our mental health team are experienced in dealing with such cases and are able to explain and advise on the law and your rights.
Sometimes a case will require an independent psychiatrist to provide an opinion about someone's continued detention. We have access to very experienced and respected consultants to assist in such cases.
Our team is headed by Deborah Best, a member of the Law Society's Mental Health Panel. We are also members of the Mental Health Lawyers Association. If you think we can help please contact us.
Paying for our work
We do not charge you for any work we do. We are a Legal Aid Agency Specialist Quality Mark firm, and as such our work is paid for under the legal aid scheme, at no cost to our clients.
All of the work we do preparing for and representing people at a Mental Health Review Tribunal is always free of charge to our clients.
The legal aid available for representing people at Managers' Hearings is means tested, meaning that some people do not qualify if their income or savings are too large. Despite this, we have taken a decision to represent such people free of charge if we are also assisting them in an appeal to the Mental Health Review Tribunal. We will therefore never charge our mental health clients for the work we do.
We hope the above is clear, but if you have any questions we will be happy to hear from you.