When Do I Have The Right To An IMHA?

You have the right to an IMHA, and are known as a ‘qualifying patient’ if you are:

  • detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, except where you:
    • have been detained in an emergency, under section 4
    • are detained under section 5 holding powers
    • have been taken to a place of safety under section 135 or 136 of the Mental Health Act
  • “liable to be detained” – this includes when:
    • you are on leave of absence from hospital
    • you are absent without leave from hospital
    • where a court order or application for admission has been made in relation to you
  • subject to a community treatment order (CTO)
  • subject to guardianship
  • a conditionally discharged restricted patient
  • a voluntary/informal patient, where certain treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and neurosurgery, are being considered

If you are a qualifying patient and you have been denied the support of an IMHA, you should seek legal advice from a mental health or community care solicitor.

The service is free and confidential. An IMHA will meet with an eligible patient following the request of the patient, the nearest relative, the responsible clinician or an AMHP.

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