Brief glossary

Here are some basic terms which you'll need to know to understand at the outset.

  • RC – Responsible Clinician – the person in charge of the patient’s treatment. This is usually a consultant psychiatrist but the RC need not be a doctor.
  • AMHP - Approved Mental Health Practitioner
  • MHT - Mental Health Tribunal. This is the court, held within the hospital grounds, which considers whether the legal criteria for detention are still met, and which discharge if they are not.
  • HMH – Hospital Managers’ Hearing. This is an internal body with the power (but not so often the inclination) to discharge patients from section.
  • NR – Nearest relative. This person is defined by the MHA, using a list and various rules. This is not the same as a “next of kin”. The patient can now apply to court to have the nearest relative displaced if he is unsuitable.
  • MHA - Mental Health Act 1983
  • MCA - Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • DOLS - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
  • PCT - Primary Care Trust
  • LHB - Local Heath Board (Wales)
  • LSSA - Local Social Services Authority
  • Forensic psychiatry/psychiatrist – relates to patients with a criminal (forensic) history

A full Glossary is also available.