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Mental Health Law Online

The internet resource on mental health law, and mental capacity law, for England & Wales. You can read a review of the site here.


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  • 04/06/20: NHS guidance on MH law during coronavirus pandemic. NHS, 'Legal guidance for mental health, learning disability and autism, and specialised commissioning services supporting people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic' (v2, 19/5/20) — "This guidance provides advice and support to commissioners (clinical commissioning groups [CCG] and specialised commissioning), providers (CCG commissioned and specialied commissioned), health care professionals, social workers, Approved Mental Health Professionals, local authorities, experts by experience, clinical experts, and independent chairs for Care and Education and Treatment Reviews, as well as regional NHS England and NHS Improvement colleagues, to help with the local planning already underway. The guidance will also be helpful for other individuals and partner organisations, involved in the pathways of care, for people with mental health needs, a learning disability and/or autism, including police, prisons and Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs)." The main headings are: (1) Introduction; (2) Key messages; (3) The Mental Health Act 1983 and the emergency Coronavirus Act; (4) Operational considerations for use of the MHA; (5) Guidance on using the Code of Practice during the COVID-19 pandemic period; (6) The Mental Capacity Act; (7) The Care Act; (8) Specific considerations regarding restraint, restrictive practice and the management of people who refuse to isolate; (9) Escorting patients detained under the MHA, including those on Restriction Orders (Sections 41 and 49 MHA) to and from acute general hospitals; (10) Specific considerations for specialised commissioned services; (11) Specific considerations for learning disability and autism services; (12) Specific considerations for people with dementia; (13) Specific considerations for mental health, learning disability and autism and the Criminal Justice System; (14) Application of digital technology to Mental Health Act assessments; (15) Annexes: (Annex A) Resources that have been developed to support practice in mental health; (Annex B) Mental Health Casework Section; (Annex C) COVID-19 - Escorting patients detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) including those on Restriction Orders (Sections 41 and 49) to and from acute general hospitals; (Annex D) Guidance on using the Code of Practice during the pandemic period: (a) Section 136 assessment; (b) Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and responsibilities of Local Authorities; (c) The role of hospital managers’ panel; (d) Mental Health Tribunal Hearings; (e) Medical Reviews of Seclusion; (f) Section 17 leave and visitors; (g) Access to Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs); (h) Second Opinion Appointed Doctors service; (i) Electronic forms and electronic delivery; (Annex E) Checklist to support decision in line with the minimum standards and safeguards on the application of technology to the MHA assessments.

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