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Section 5(2) – Application in respect of a patient already in hospital

Why am I on a Section 5(2)?

You are being kept in hospital because a doctor thinks you have a mental health problem and are not well enough to leave.

A doctor or an approved clinician put you on the section.

How long does it last and what happens next?

You can be kept in hospital for a maximum of 72 hours so that you can be seen by two doctors to decide if you need to be kept in hospital for longer. In these circumstances you will also be seen by an approved mental health professional.

You will then be put on a Section 2 or a Section 3 if the Approved Mental Health Professional agrees with the doctors.

Or they may decide that you do not need to be on a section you will be free to leave. Someone will talk to you about what other help you should have.

If the doctors have not seen you by the end of 72 hours, you will be free to leave. You may decide to stay in hospital as a voluntary patient.

Can I be medicated against my will?

The hospital staff will tell you about any medication they think you need. You have the right to refuse any medication you do not want.

Can I get leave?

No. You cannot be given leave while you are on a Section 5(2). It is a short term section.

How can I appeal?

You have no rights of appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal or the Hospital Managers’ against Section 5(2).

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 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, advocate and anyone else who supports you. A copy of the code should be available on the ward for you to see.