Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, Vaccine Information and Helpful Resources Find out more

Section 5(4) – Nurses Holding Power

Why am I on a Section 5(4)?

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

A nurse put you on the section.

How long does it last and what happens next?

You have to stay in the hospital for up to six hours so that you can be seen by a doctor.

Once the doctor has seen you, they may decide to put you on a Section 5(2) or end the section.

If a doctor has not seen you by the end of this time, you will be free to leave.

If you are not put on another section, you may still 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(4). It is a short term emergency section.

How can I appeal?

You have no rights of appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal or the Hospital Managers’ against Section 5(4).

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.