Consent to treatment

Explains your rights to consent to (or refuse) treatment, including what 'consent' means, when you can be treated without your consent, and how to make a complaint. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

Stockport MindFest

Rachel, Mind Infoline advisor
Posted on 12/12/2013

Sharing my story with the Mind Infoline

Katie blogs about why she agreed to meet Mind's Infoline team, and shares her experiences of being sectioned.

Katie Siobhan
Posted on 13/12/2012

Mind's new text service

Simon blogs about the Mind Infoline's new text service and how he was involved in setting it up.

Posted on 01/05/2014

How can I challenge my treatment?

If you feel that you’ve received treatment that you haven’t agreed to, and you weren't in a situation where it was lawful to treat you without consent, there are generally three steps you can take to challenge this:

  1. Speak to someone informally. Depending on the kind of problem, you might want to try to resolve the problem first by informally talking to the person who is responsible for your treatment, for example your GP or your psychiatrist.

  2. Make a formal complaint. If raising the issue informally doesn't resolve the problem, you can ask that person or organisation for their formal complaints procedure. This will involve writing a letter outlining the problem and explaining what you would like to happen next.

  3. Make a legal challenge. There are different types of legal claims you could make. Which one you choose will depend on what you want to achieve:
    • judicial review is a legal challenge to the way a public authority has made a decision or has done or not done something lawfully.
    • clinical negligence claim is when you make a claim for compensation because the care you received from a professional was negligent.
    • An application to the Court of Protection would be relevant if someone needs permission from the Court to make decisions about your health, welfare, financial affairs or property.

For more information about each of these steps, see our pages on complaining about health and social care.


This information was published in March 2018. We will revise it in 2020.

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