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MHA 1983 s118

Mental Health Act 1983
(as amended)

Law as at 19/11/11 unless otherwise stated under "Amendments" heading

Part VIII contents

114, 114ZA, 114A, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125

All Parts

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

Changes made by Mental Health Act 2007

Related cases

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See also

[The chapter/paragraph numbers which appear below (if any) refer to the 2008 versions of the Code of Practice and Reference Guide.]


Code of practice

118.—(1) The Secretary of State shall prepare, and from time to time revise, a code of practice—

(a) for the guidance of registered medical practitioners[, approved clinicians],[1] managers and staff of hospitals[, independent hospitals and care homes][2] and [approved mental health professionals][1] in relation to the admission of patients to hospitals [and registered establishments][2] under this Act [and to guardianship and [community patients][1] under this Act];[3] and
(b) for the guidance of registered medical practitioners and members of other professions in relation to the medical treatment of patients suffering from mental disorder.

[(1A) The Code which must be prepared, and from time to time revised, in relation to Wales shall also be for the guidance of independent mental health advocates appointed under arrangements made under section 130E below.][4]

(2) The code shall, in particular, specify forms of medical treatment in addition to any specified by regulations made for the purposes of section 57 above which in the opinion of the Secretary of State give rise to special concern and which should accordingly not be given by a registered medical practitioner unless the patient has consented to the treatment (or to a plan of treatment including that treatment) and a certificate in writing as to the matters mentioned in subsection (2)(a) and (b) of that section has been given by another registered medical practitioner, being a practitioner [appointed for the purposes of this section by the regulatory authority].[5]

[(2A) The code shall include a statement of the principles which the Secretary of State thinks should inform decisions under this Act.

(2B) In preparing the statement of principles the Secretary of State shall, in particular, ensure that each of the following matters is addressed—

(a) respect for patients' past and present wishes and feelings,
(b) respect for diversity generally including, in particular, diversity of religion, culture and sexual orientation (within the meaning of section 35 of the Equality Act 2006),
(c) minimising restrictions on liberty,
(d) involvement of patients in planning, developing and delivering care and treatment appropriate to them,
(e) avoidance of unlawful discrimination,
(f) effectiveness of treatment,
(g) views of carers and other interested parties,
(h) patient wellbeing and safety, and
(i) public safety.

(2C) The Secretary of State shall also have regard to the desirability of ensuring—

(a) the efficient use of resources, and
(b) the equitable distribution of services.

(2D) In performing functions under this Act persons mentioned in subsection (1)(a) or (b) [and subsection (1A)][4] shall have regard to the code.][1]

(3) Before preparing the code or making any alteration in it the Secretary of State shall consult such bodies as appear to him to be concerned.

(4) The Secretary of State shall lay copies of the code and of any alteration in the code before Parliament; and if either House of Parliament passes a resolution requiring the code or any alteration in it to be withdrawn the Secretary of State shall withdraw the code or alteration and, where he withdraws the code, shall prepare a code in substitution for the one which is withdrawn.

(5) No resolution shall be passed by either House of Parliament under subsection (4) above in respect of a code or alteration after the expiration of the period of 40 days beginning with the day on which a copy of the code or alteration was laid before that House; but for the purposes of this subsection no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days.

(6) The Secretary of State shall publish the code as for the time being in force.

[(7) The Care Quality Commission may at any time make proposals to the Secretary of State as to the content of the code of practice which the Secretary of State must prepare, and from time to time revise, under this section in relation to England.][5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mental Health Act 2007 s9, s19 by Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008; s21 & sch 2 by Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 (England) and Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No. 8 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 (Wales); wef 3/11/08
  2. 2.0 2.1 Care Standards Act 2000
  3. Mental Health (Patients in the Community) Act 1995
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 s39; in force 3/1/12 'except in so far as it relates to Welsh qualifying informal patients' (Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 (Commencement No.1 and Transitional Provision) Order 2011/3046 art 2); in force 2/4/12 'in so far as not already commenced' (same commencement order, art 3); subject to transitional provision that 'where a qualifying patient in Wales is receiving help under arrangements made under section 130A ... [f]rom the 3 January 2012 the help is to be treated as if it had been given under arrangements made under section 130E' (same commencement order, art 5)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Health and Social Care Act 2008 sch 3; Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Commencement No 9, Consequential Amendments and Transitory, Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2009 wef 1/4/09