About the Mental Health Act
Section 47/49 - Transfer from prison to hospital with restrictions

  • Why am I on this assessment?

    You are a sentenced prisoner. You have been moved from prison to hospital because on the advice of two doctors, the Secretary of State decided that you needed to spend time in hospital to have treatment for a serious mental health problem.

    You are also under a restriction order (section 49) from the Ministry of Justice. This means that the Secretary of State decides when you return to prison.

    Two doctors and the Ministry of Justice put you on the section.


  • How long does it last and what happens next?

    Your responsible clinician will tell you when they think you are well enough to leave hospital. They will then ask the Secretary of State for Justice to agree. Until the Secretary of State has agreed, you cannot leave the hospital.

    You may either be returned to prison to serve the rest of your sentence or you could be released from hospital on the same terms on which you would be released from prison.

    If your sentence ends while you are in hospital and you still need treatment, you can be kept in hospital. Your responsible clinician will tell you when you are ready to leave.


  • Can I be medicated against my will?

    Yes. Medicine can be given to you with or without your consent. Your responsible clinician and other hospital staff will talk to you about any medicine that you need for your mental health problem. In most cases you will have to accept their advice.

    After three months, if you do not want the medicine you are being given, an independent doctor called a SOAD (Second Opinion Appointed Doctor) will talk to you and to staff who know you. They will decide what medicine you can be given and except in an emergency, no other medicine can be given to you without your agreement.


  • Can I get leave?

    You cannot be granted leave without the agreement of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice will not normally grant leave until you are close to your conditional, or non-parole release date.


  • How can I appeal?

    You can ask a Mental Health Tribunal to say that you should not be kept in hospital. You can apply to a Tribunal once at any time during the first six months, once during the next six months and then once in every year you are kept in hospital after that.

    You can also appeal to the Hospital Managers. You can do this at any time. They cannot discharge you, but can only recommend discharge to the Ministry of Justice. Hospital Managers are an independent group of people, who are separate from the hospital. Their job is to ensure that the Mental Health Act is being correctly applied and that service users’ rights under the Act are being upheld.

    For help with an appeal speak to a member of the hospital staff or to an advocate.


  • Which Cygnet Health Care hospitals accept service users on a Section 47/49?

    For details of which Cygnet Health Care hospitals accept service users on a Section 47/49 please visit our Prison Transfer Service page.



Part 2 of the Act Part 3 of the Act Forensic Sections Part 3 of the Act Forensic Restricted Sections
Section 2 › Section 35 › Section 37/41 ›
Section 3 › Section 36 › Section 41 ›
Section 4 › Section 37 › Section 47/49 ›
Section 5(2) › Section 38 › Section 48/49 ›
Section 5(4) › Section 47 ›
Section 136 › Section 48 ›



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