Community treatment orders (CTOs)

Explains what a community treatment order is, how it affects you and how you can change or end it. Applies to England and Wales.

Can family members be involved?

Yes – under the Mental Health Act, a family member called your nearest relative will have certain powers related to your care.

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

  • be given information about you
  • ask for an independent mental health advocate to see you
  • discharge you. To do this, your nearest relative will need to write to the hospital managers to discharge your CTO, giving them at least 72 hours’ notice in writing. If your responsible clinician doesn't object, 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 that, in their view, you would act in a way that would be dangerous to yourself or others before the 72 hours are up.

To find out more about who your nearest relative is and what their rights are, see our information on the nearest relative.


This information was published in December 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today