Voluntary patients

Explains your rights if you are having treatment in hospital as a voluntary patient. Applies to England and Wales.

Useful contacts

Mind Legal Line

0300 466 6463 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)

The Mind Legal Line can provide you with legal information and general advice.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

03000 616161 (press ‘1’ to speak to the mental health team)

For complaints about anything that may have happened during your time in hospital under section (in England).

Carers Trust


Information and support for carers, including an online chatroom.

Carers UK

0808 808 7777

Independent information and support for carers.

Civil Legal Advice

0845 345 4345

The Civil Legal Advice can tell you if you’re eligible for legal aid and can give you free and confidential legal advice in England and Wales.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales

0300 062 8163

For complaints about anything that may have happened during your time in hospital under section (in Wales).

The Law Society

020 7242 1222 (England)
029 2064 5254 (Wales)

The Law Society provides details of solicitors you can get in touch with for specialist legal advice.

Where can I get support?

Local Mind

Local Minds support over 280,000 people across England and Wales. Their services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. They may be able to help you find advocacy services in your area.

Find your local Mind here.

Find an advocate

An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.

For information on advocacy services and groups in your area, you could start by contacting the Mind Legal Line and your local Mind. You can also contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) in England, or the Community Health Council in Wales.

Read more about how advocacy might help you.

This information was published in November 2016. We will revise it in 2018.

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