MHA 1983 s4

Mental Health Act 1983
(as amended)

Law as at 19/11/11

Part II contents

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12ZA, 12ZB, 12ZC, 12A, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 17A, 17B, 17C, 17D, 17E, 17F, 17G, 18, 19, 19A, 20, 20A, 20B, 21, 21A, 21B, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34

All Parts

I, II, III, IV, 4A, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, Schedules

See Emergency admission for assessment for details.

Change made by Mental Health Act 2007

Related cases

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See also

[The chapter/paragraph numbers here refer to the 2008 versions of the Code of Practice and Reference Guide.]


Admission for assessment in cases of emergency

4.— (1) In any case of urgent necessity, an application for admission for assessment may be made in respect of a patient in accordance with the following provisions of this section, and any application so made is in this Act referred to as "an emergency application".

(2) An emergency application may be made either by an [approved mental health professional][1] or by the nearest relative of the patient; and every such application shall include a statement that it is of urgent necessity for the patient to be admitted and detained under section 2 above, and that compliance with the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to applications under that section would involve undesirable delay.

(3) An emergency application shall be sufficient in the first instance if founded on one of the medical recommendations required by section 2 above, given, if practicable, by a practitioner who has previous acquaintance with the patient and otherwise complying with the requirements of section 12 below so far as applicable to a single recommendation, and verifying the statement referred to in subsection (2) above.

(4) An emergency application shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of 72 hours from the time when the patient is admitted to the hospital unless—

(a) the second medical recommendation required by section 2 above is given and received by the managers within that period; and
(b) that recommendation and the recommendation referred to in subsection (3) above together comply with all the requirements of section 12 below (other than the requirement as to the time of signature of the second recommendation).

(5) In relation to an emergency application, section 11 below shall have effect as if in subsection (5) of that section for the words "the period of 14 days ending with the date of the application" there were substituted the words "the previous 24 hours".


  1. Mental Health Act 2007 s21 & sch 2; Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 (England), Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 (Wales), wef 3/11/08