Hello, thought to use this platform to get clarification on a query.
When we conduct a mental health act assessment and patient agrees to come to hospital (informally or under MHA); in many places, the nursing team suggests to keep the patient under section 136 until a bed is found, so the police will stay and prevent the patient from absconding.
My question is: Is there any legal basis of ‘keeping the patient under section 136 after a decision to admit made following a mental health act assessment’?
I would be grateful if you could provide a link of the relevant text of the act.
Many thanks in advance.
Section 136(2) says: 'A person removed to, or kept at a place of safety under this section may be detained there for a period not exceeding [the permitted period of detention] for the purpose of enabling him to be examined by a registered medical practitoner and to be intervirewed by an approved mentsal health professional and of making any necessary arrangements for his treatment or care.’ In other words,detention under s.136 does not lapse simply because a decision has been made to admit the patient, whether under section or informally, but can lawfully continue for as long as it is seen as being ‘necessary’, up to the full 24 hours (plus any authorised extension) if needed. This is a matter of judgement, but I would always advise that if there is likely to be a delay in findng a bed- or a delay in arranging transport- it would be safer to leave the s.136 in place to prevent the risk of absconsion etc, depending on the individual circumstances.
A post was split to a new topic: Section 136 and “de-arrest”