We represent clients who are detained under the Mental Health Act
Protecting the rights of clients who are detained under the various sections of the Mental Health Act is a specialist area for David Pickup and his team. We have many years of experience in advising in all matters relating to Mental Health Law.
We represent clients who are detained under the Mental Health Act including people who have faced serious criminal cases including murder. Tribunals have the power to discharge patients and in certain case make recommendations for transfer to another hospital or leave. Some clients are not able to make applications and their cases are referred for them.
We also provide assistance at Care Programme Approach meetings, Hospital Managers Hearings and S.117 Aftercare meetings. We have acted for patients, nearest relatives, hospitals and victims.
As with all clients, we take the time to fully understand the details of your case and to clearly explain the options. We will be on hand to guide you through the process, to offer practical support and legal representation.
As relatives and carers are often directly involved in cases of Mental Health Law, we can also offer advice to others who form your support network.
Legal aid is non-means tested for all tribunal work for patients. We will be open about all charges, so there is no risk of receiving an unexpected bill.
The law sets out safeguards to ensure that detentions under the Mental Health Act are necessary. Professionals should ensure that alternatives are considered such as voluntary admission. Most detentions under section are legal. The proper way to challenge whether a section is needed is by an application to the independent Mental Health Tribunal which forms the best safeguard to protect a patient’s rights.
In a very few cases detentions are not valid. Your solicitor will always check the section papers which are application and supporting forms to make sure they have been completed correctly. The law allows for minor errors to be corrected but sometimes there is a major issue which means the detention is not valid. Examples can be where the wrong nearest relative was consulted or not consulted at all, (and an explanation of why they were not consulted is not given) forms unsigned or the wrong name for the patient.
If a hospital discovers a patient has been wrongfully detained they can assess whether a fresh application for a section could be made. This would not correct an earlier error but the new section would probably be valid.
We have experience of advising people who have been wrongfully detained and hospitals and social workers who are facing a possible claim. Wrongfully detained patients may be entitled to compensation.
Pickup & Scott Solicitors is accredited by Mental Health Review Tribunal