They may seem like disparate areas of specialism, but the law and medicine actually go hand in hand. Mental health services is a particularly contentious area because this is a field in which patients can be treated against their will. The Mental Health Act (1983) legislates for when a patient can be ‘sectioned’, i.e. admitted, detained and treated in hospital against their wishes.

Why would I be sectioned?

This would only happen if:

  • two appropriately qualified professionals, such as a doctor and a social worker, decided that you have a mental disorder
  • you were putting yourself or others at risk of harm

This does not need to be something that you face alone. Whether for yourself or a relative, Oratto can put you in contact immediately with a solicitor who has specific experience of mental health services and healthcare law.

Community Treatment Order

Often following the action of being sectioned, a CTO provides that you have supervised treatment once you leave. The clinician responsible can also recall you to hospital if necessary. The CTO may also set out conditions that you must follow. Your Oratto member solicitor with experience in mental health services will be able to explain all of this to you.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

This Act sets out rules which protect you if you cannot make decisions. You need to be able to remember, consider, communicate and understand the decision in question. If you can’t, it suggests a lack of capacity.

Being assessed as lacking capacity is a complex process. It doesn’t follow automatically as a result of mental illness. The processes of mental health services can be confusing and alarming. Let Oratto's member solicitors advise and guide you. 

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