Explains what a community treatment order is, how it affects you and how you can change or end it.
If you want to be discharged from your CTO, you can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal. The Tribunal cannot look at the conditions of your CTO – it will only look at how you are now and whether you should still be on your CTO or discharged from it. If you want help through this process, you can get support from an independent mental health advocate (IMHA).
When exactly you can apply will depend on what kind of section you are on:
If you apply for a Tribunal whilst detained under section 3 and are then put on a CTO, the Tribunal will consider whether you meet the criteria for a CTO instead of the section 3. You will not lose any right to apply for a further hearing.
You will be able to get legal aid to pay for a solicitor to help you with your appeal, and during the hearing. Your savings or property will not have to be assessed for you to get this help – it is your right to have legal aid for the Tribunal, no matter what money you have coming in or if you own a house or flat.
The managers of the hospital responsible for your care must refer you to the Mental Health Tribunal at certain times:
You will still have a Mental Health Tribunal if you have a change in status. For example, if you have been referred to a Mental Health Tribunal because your CTO is revoked and you are then put under another CTO right before the hearing, the hearing will go ahead.
This is a special court that deals with cases relating to the Mental Health Act 1983. The Tribunal decides whether you can be discharged from your section. It can sometimes make recommendations about matters such as hospital leave, transfer to another hospital, guardianship and community treatment orders (CTOs).
The court is made of a panel, which normally includes:
Where you see a reference to the Mental Health Tribunal in this guide, it means:
In Wales, voluntary patients can also have an IMHA.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in December 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
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