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.


If you have been detained in hospital, you may be discharged on to a community treatment order (CTO).

Quick facts

  • A CTO is an order made by your responsible clinician to give you supervised treatment in the community.
  • This means you can be treated in the community for your mental health problem, instead of staying in hospital. But your responsible clinician can return you to hospital and give you immediate treatment if necessary.
  • Conditions are added to the CTO which you have to follow, like having to live in a certain place or going to appointments for treatment.
  • A family member, called your nearest relative, will have certain rights relating to your care and treatment, like finding out information about you and discharging you.

Please note

  • This guide only covers CTO from the point of view of a person with a mental health problem.
  • This guide applies to England and Wales.
  • This guide contains general legal information, not legal advice. We recommend you get advice from a specialist legal adviser or solicitor who will help you with your specific situation and needs. See Useful contacts for more information.
  • The legal information in this guide does not apply to children unless specifically stated.

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

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