Hospital In-Patients.

We recognise how difficult it can be if you are a patient on a psychiatric ward detained under the Mental Health Act.

What we do.

A hospital ward for a detained patient can feel like a very lonely place indeed, and one of the big problems can be a lack of information. How long are you going to be there? What is going to happen to you? Who is there to advise you about your rights? Who is there to stand up for your rights? Who is there to make sure your voice is heard when decisions are made about your care and treatment? What can you do to get out of hospital? That is where we step in. 
Wherever you are in the country, whatever the section under which you are detained, whatever the type of hospital unit you are in, we can assist in answering your questions and ensuring that your rights are protected.
We will be there to provide fast, friendly, and informed legal advice, we will provide strong, independent legal representation, and we won’t compromise when it comes to ensuring that your rights are protected.

We can help. Contact us today

We are a specialist law firm providing expert legal advice and representation in Mental Health Law and Court of Protection Law. Get in touch to find out how we can help you.

Your questions answered

Hospital in-patients FAQs.

  • Am I being lawfully detained?

    The first thing you will want to know is whether you have been detained lawfully. From the moment you are detained in hospital, we will be able to provide you with advice on whether correct procedures have been followed and whether you are detained lawfully. If you are not lawfully detained, we will be able to advise on what steps you should take.

  • What are my rights as a detained patient?

    For how long will you be detained? What are your rights generally? What rights to do you have to seek discharge? How can you apply to a tribunal? Do you have the right to refuse treatment? Can you leave the ward? Can you see family and friends? We will be able to answer these questions and any others that you may have.

  • How can I get discharged from my section?

    There are four ways in which a patient can be discharged from their section: By their responsible clinician, by their nearest relative, by hospital managers, or by a Mental Health Tribunal. We will make sure that you have a full understanding of how each of these avenues of discharge works, and we will advise on which avenue is most likely to be effective for you.

Legal advice for hospital in-patients

Type of section.

Many of our clients are detained in hospital under s2 or s3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, but we also regularly advise clients detained under the following types of section:

    S37 hospital order
    S47 or S48 prison transfer
    S37/41 hospital/restriction order
    S47/49 prison transfer with restrictions

Type of hospital.

In-patients can find themselves in a variety of hospital settings. Whatever that setting, we can assist. The depth and breadth of our experience means that we have the skills to represent all kinds of clients in all kinds of hospitals, units, or wards. 
We regularly attend acute units, psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs), and rehabilitation wards, but we also regularly represent patients on specialist units, for example, those specializing in the care of:

    children and young persons
    older persons
    eating disorder patients
    mothers and babies

You may find yourself in a forensic unit (typically if you have been sent to hospital as a result of involvement in the criminal justice system). If so, we are there to help. Many of our clients find themselves in secure hospitals (low, medium, or high security), and we have a great deal of experience in this area of Mental Health Law.

Type of legal issue.

We can help with advice on any aspect of the law in relation to your in-patient treatment, whether you want to be discharged or transferred, whether you have an issue with treatment, whether you are sectioned or informal. 
Here are some of the issues we help patients with day in, day out:

    Representation at a Mental Health Tribunal hearingMany patients will want to take up their right to apply to a Mental Health Tribunal for discharge. We have huge experience of representing patients at tribunal hearings. We can advise on your right to a tribunal, on when would be the best time to apply, on what you need to do to maximise your chances of a successful application for discharge, and how best to present your case. We will also provide you with expert representation
    Representation at a hospital manager's hearingWe also provide representation at hospital manager's hearings, another common way for patients to seek discharge from their section. Again, we can provide advice on whether to apply and, if so, how best to present your application.
    Hospital transferMany patients feel themselves to be in the wrong type of hospital or the wrong part of the country. Where this applies, we will be able to advise on what steps are available to remedy the problem.
    Challenging the lawfulness of decisions regarding treatment or careYou may not be happy with a particular form of treatment or care that is being proposed. We will be able to advise whether you have the right to challenge that treatment or care and, if so, we will be able to assist with the challenge. This may take the form of a judicial review, which is a legal challenge to the procedural lawfulness of a proposed course of action.
    Assessing medical recordsWe will be able to advise on how you may gain access to your medical records during (or after) any hospital admission.