S2 application person detained to home address


I had a client who was detained under s2 MHA to their house because there were no beds available. AMHP etc were supposed to return but no contact made by mh services over weekend. Individual was then contacted by phone to say they were no longer on section.

Please advise the relevant legislation used. I think there is something that it is possible for upto 7 days but two separate medical reviews have to be done

I don’t quite follow your point.

I think that it is not possible to Section someone into their own property, the property is not a clinical environment for assessment (following treatment) of a mental disorder. Therefore, detaining at home sounds very strange and even illegal.

I have been in Mental Act Assessments, where I have to stay for more than three hours until a bed was available. The assessment was in Wales and the bed was in Liverpool. The AMPH was the one doing all the calls with the help of another team who looks for beds around the UK. So there is no excuse for not detaining someone because there is no local beds.

Until there are 2 medical recommendation and the AMPH is satisfied there is a compulsory detention, the AMPH can review with a doctor, then the other doctor can review in another date (up to 7 days) then the compulsory detention applies (or vice-versa). But if someone is put informal, then another Mental Health Act Assessment has to be arranged from scratch.

Hi found the relevant logistics.

It is a past case that is being questioned now & I have also spoken with a colleague who recalls a separate case, where somebody detained on s2 MHA to their home address went ‘AWOL’.

At the time I also queried the legality, however there appears to be a grey area in that ‘the AMHP (or NR) must have seen the person 14 days prior to application’ & ‘the person must be admitted to hospital within 14 days from the date of the last medical interview for the section 2’ (S Richards & AF Mughal: Working with the Mental Health Act (4th Edition) page 18)

I think only the Police could use a person’s home to detain them under S136. You cannot otherwise, detain a person to their own home.

Hi Liz

Apologies but this seems a bizarre situation. You cant be detained to your home address under the MHA. There is no grey area I’m afraid in this situation. (I’m taking it that there is no reference to s.135(1) and agreement to remain at home as place of safety- it doesn’t seem like this is what you are describing as there would be other professionals present to assess etc- I’m just stretching very far to find a scenario that would fit in any way).

It may be that the AMHP wanted to complete an application to a hospital but there have been no beds. In this case there is a joint responsibility to ensure the safety of the person between the AMHP/LA and Health service. However the person is not lawfully detained. I’m afraid this seems to be a misunderstanding from those involved… A potentially dangerous misunderstanding in regards to the individuals rights and care.

The ‘working with the MH’ info you are reading there relates to properly completed applications to hospital.

I would seek to find out the exact details and if necessary suggest legal advice for your client (if appropriate).

All the best


1 Like

I think there are two aspects here.
First is that the Section 12 Dr must have seen the patient at least 14 days before the recommendation. And is just that a recommendation. Once the recommendation is given to the AMPH, the role of the assessing doctor is finished. Making recommendation does not mean is detained. Who detains is the AMPH.

The other aspect is that when the AMPH decides to detain, with the two recommendation, then AMPH is the one who decides when to detain and where (before the 14 days to be assessed). The AMPH here is the decision maker. It has happen that even with two medical recommendations the AMPH has not detained a patient, but this is another story.

Once the AMPH files the papers of detention and sent (or informs) the managers, then the compulsory detention begins in the place where the patient will receive Assessment following treatment. The home address is not a place for professional assessment following treatment, then a patient cannot be detained at home address. S2 (1) of the MHA specifies that has to be a hospital which is intended for assessment of Mental Health disorders.

S136 is the police detention of a patient suspected of mental disorder in public places (not home) to a place of safety.
S135 is the warrant to search for and remove patients in a private place to a place of safety.

both are a temporary detention until arrives to the designated place of safety.

As I stated this was a case that came through an advocacy service.
All information provided states that it happened as told.
No s135 or s136.
P was told they were under s2 MHA & that AMHP & others would return (only home visit was with the AMHP & s12 dr) to transport to hospital.
This case is now being reviewed after discussion with us.
I was just checking to see if there was any legitimate legislation as that portion appears to be what was used to make the recommendation & then not tell P that they were not detained
P was led to believe they were detained until someone told them after a period of at least 4 days, that they weren’t

I am now closing this thread

Many thanks Gareth-that is what we are proposing to the representative involved

1 Like