Section 17A

Section 17A Mental Health Act 1983 – Community Treatment Order (“CTO”)

What is this?

An application has been made by mental health professionals who believe an individual who is currently detained in hospital is suffering from a mental disorder of a type of severity which makes it appropriate for them to receive treatment, for their own health and safety or for the protection of others, but that treatment does not need to be given in hospital.

A person on a CTO is usually subject to some conditions, such as they will live in a particular place, attend appointments with mental health professionals, or abstain from drugs and alcohol. If the person does not comply with these conditions, they may be recalled to hospital which could lead to them being re-sectioned.

The CTO lasts for 6 months, and can be renewed for a further 6 months, then annually.

A person can not be treated with medication without their consent on a CTO.

Getting discharged

The treating doctor can discharge a person when they consider it appropriate.

The patient’s nearest relative can discharge the person at any time.

The person can apply to the mental health tribunal themselves.


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