Community treatment orders

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a613 (Published 22 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a613
  1. Krishma Jethwa, specialist registrar in general adult psychiatry1,
  2. Nuwan Galappathie, specialist registrar in forensic psychiatry2
  1. 1Woodland View, Bristol BS10 6NB
  2. 2West of England Forensic Mental Health Service, Bristol BS16 1ED
  1. dr.k.jethwa{at}doctors.org.uk

    Insufficient evidence exists to support the new legislation for England and Wales

    Community treatment involves the use of mental health legislation to impose varying requirements on some mental health patients who live in the community. The Mental Health Act 1983 made no comprehensive provision for community treatment. This has meant that some patients who improve in hospital are discharged to the community, become non-compliant with treatment, and have a relapse. The Mental Health Act 2007, which will come into force in England and Wales in November 2008, sets out how supervised community treatment should work.

    The new legislation applies only to patients detained in hospital for treatment. The clinician responsible for the patients’ care may discharge them from hospital under a supervised community treatment order. The order can specify variable conditions that the patient must abide by, including the need to comply with treatment. The order is renewable and can be discharged only by the responsible clinician or a mental health review tribunal. …

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