All types of detention

Compulsory (formal) admission

Civil (unrestricted)

  • s136 - mentally disordered persons found in public places

Criminal (unrestricted)

  • s35 - remand for report
  • s36 - remand for treatment
  • s37 - hospital order
  • s43 - committal by magistrates (to custody rather than to hospital) for restriction order
  • s44 - committal by magistrates to hospital under s43
  • s46 - detention following Court Martial (repealed)
  • s51(5) - hospital order without conviction

Criminal (restricted)

  • s48/49 - transfer of unsentenced prisoner, with restriction direction

Informal admission

  • s131 - informal admission

Patients can enter hospital informally, and remain in hospital informally after the end of their section. The House of Lords in R (L) v Bournewood Community and Mental Health NHS Trust [1998] UKHL 24 subdivided this group of patients into voluntary patients who have capacity to consent and do, and informal patients who do not have capacity but do not object. See also HL v UK 45508/99 [2004] ECHR 471.

For further details, see Bournewood gap bridged by Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards inserted into MCA 2005 (April 2009)


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