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Community treatment orders (CTOs)

Explains what a community treatment order (CTO) is, how it can affect you, and how you or your family members can change or end it.

Can family members be involved with a CTO?

Yes. Under the Mental Health Act, a family member called your nearest relative will have certain powers related to your care if you are on a CTO.

The Mental Health Act says that your nearest relative has the right to:

If your nearest relative wishes to discharge you from your CTO, they need to write to your hospital managers. They must give at least 72 hours' notice.

If your responsible clinician doesn't object to the discharge notice, your CTO will end once the 72 hours have passed.

If your responsible clinician does object, they can make a report to the hospital managers. This report would say that, in their view, you would act in a way that would be dangerous to yourself or others. They must submit this report before the 72 hours are up.

If the responsible clinician objects to the discharge notice, then the notice will not have any effect. And your nearest relative will not be able to use this right again for the next six months, starting from the date of the responsible clinician’s report.

See our information on nearest relatives to find out more about who your nearest relative is and what their rights are.

This information was published in June 2022. We will revise it in 2025.

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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