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Section 37/41 – Hospital order with restriction

Why am I on a Section 37/41?

A court decided that instead of going to prison you should be in hospital for treatment of a serious mental health problem. A Section 37 is called a “hospital order”.

The judge decided that because of concerns about public safety you also need to be on a Section 41 which is known as a “restriction order”.

Two doctors one who is Section 12 approved and has specialist experience in the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness and a registered practitioner usually a doctor who knows you, such as your GP and the court put you on the section.

How long does it last and what happens next?

The mental health professional in charge of your care and treatment under the MHA is known as the Responsible Clinician or RC. 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.

Can I be medicated against my will?

Yes. Medicine can be given to you with or without your consent. However your consent will always be sought. Your responsible clinician and other hospital staff will talk to you about any medicine that you need for your mental health problem.

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. Your responsible clinician must request leave for you from the Ministry of Justice.

How can I appeal?

You can ask the Court to look at your case again. If you want to do this you must do it quickly, and it is best to ask a solicitor to help you. Ask the hospital staff or an advocate for more information.

You can also ask the Hospital Managers to review your detention. 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.

After your hospital order and restriction order has been in place for six months, you can also appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal to discharge you from detention. You can appeal again in any subsequent period of one year.

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

What are my rights?

You have certain rights when you are in hospital. These include the right to:

  • Information about your section and the reasons for detention
  • Information about consent to treatment
  • Information about your rights of appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal
  • Information about how to contact a suitably qualified solicitor
  • Information about your right to appeal to the Hospital Managers
  • Information on how to obtain the help and support of an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
  • Correspondence and visitors
  • Information on how to make a complaint
  • Information about safeguarding
  • Information about the Care Quality Commission

The Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice

The MHA Code of Practice should be followed by professionals who are involved in your care and treatment. The Code of Practice provides guidance to health professionals about the MHA and is also intended to be helpful to you, your family, carers, representatives, friends, advocates and anyone else who supports you. A copy of the code should be available on the ward for you to see.