Emergency admission for assessment

Section 4 is used when it is of urgent necessity for the patient to be admitted and detained under section 2 (s4(2)). It is similar to s2 except:

  • Only one medical recommendation is required (as opposed to two for s2) (s4(3)).
  • It lasts for 72 hours maximum (as opposed to 28 days).
  • The applicant (usually AMHP) must have seen the patient in the previous 24 hours (rather than 14 days) (s4(5)) and certify that getting the second doctor would "involve undesirable delay" (s4(2)).

A second medical opinion should be sought as soon as possible. A second medical recommendation converts s4 to s2 (s4(4)) - that s2 is treated as having begun when the s4 began.

The patient can apply for an MHT or HMH, which would in practice only convene if detention continues after the initial 72 hours. The RC could discharge before then.

The Consent to Treatment provisions do not apply (s56(1)(a)).

See also


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