MHA 1983 s3
See Admission for treatment for details.
Changes made by Mental Health Act 2007
- Mental disorder no longer split into separate classifications 3/11/08
- Appropriate treatment test replaces treatability test and applies to all patients under long-term detention 3/11/08
Any cases with a hyperlink to this legislation will automatically be added here. There may be other relevant cases without a hyperlink, so please check the mental health case law page.
- An NHS Trust v A  EWCOP 71,  MHLO 91 — A patient detained under MHA 1983 s3 was not ineligible to be deprived of his liberty in a general hospital under the MCA 2005 for the purpose of physical treatment (and the previous case on this point, A Local Health Board v AB  EWCOP 31,  MHLO 95, should be read as if the judge accidentally omitted a negative and inadvertently and mistakenly stated the law wrongly).
- CV v South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 742 (Admin) — (1) In cases involving consultation under s11(4), the AMHP is to be judged according to the circumstances as they appear to her at the time. (2) Given that the AMHP believed (albeit wrongly) that 7 hours remained of the s5(2) detention, the decision not to consult the nearest relative on the ground that it "would involve unreasonable delay" was unlawful. (3) It was inappropriate for the AMHP to assume, based on a previous consultation, that the NR would not object. (4) Subsequent rectification under s15(1) could not be relied upon in the circumstances of this case
- CX v A Local Authority  EWHC 1918 (Admin) — A writ of habeas corpus was granted: (1) there had not been sufficiently informed consultation with the nearest relative before the s3 application was made; (2) the withdrawal of the nearest relative's objection was not full and effective, since it was the result of the incorrect and misleading advice that she could not maintain the objection without legal representation. [Judgment originally published under a different name.]
- DD v Durham County Council  EWHC 1053 (QB),  MHLO 51 — The claimant was gate sectioned at Durham prison and detained under s2, then s3, in a Middlesborough hospital. He had complaints of false imprisonment and breaches of Article 3 and 8 relating to matters such as his being kept in seclusion, the lighting in his room, the number of people supervising his activities and a general lack of privacy. (1) He needed leave under s139 to bring civil proceedings against Durham County Council and Middlesborough City Council. This was refused: there was no realistic prospect of establishing illegality against the AMHPs who made the recommendations for s2 and s3 as AMHPs are (a) not required to choose or investigate the quality of the place of detention, (b) not required to research medical views earlier than those in the statutory recommendations, (c) not responsible for the medical or other regimes to which a detained person is subjected. (2) The AMHP who applied for s3 detention was employed by Middlesborough, so ..→
- JT v UK 26494/95  ECHR 133 — Case struck out of list, as friendly settlement reached to ensure MHA compliant with Article 8: MHA to be amended to allow patient to apply for displacement of NR where reasonably objected; and to allow exclusion of certain persons from acting as NR.
- MS v North East London Foundation Trust  UKUT 92 (AAC),  MHLO 24 — In this case it was argued that the tribunal had addressed the s3 criteria for a patient who was detained under s2. (1) The Upper Tribunal decided that the First-tier Tribunal had not misdirected itself in this way. (2) However, the judge considered the criteria: he set out why he considered them different (primarily the different purpose of each section) but did not define how they were different. He concluded: 'This is not to say that the conditions for detention under section 2 are not demanding. Just that they are less demanding than for section 3. It would not be appropriate for me to try to define the differences between those sections. The language used is everyday language that merely has to be applied. But it has to be applied in a context that requires detention to be strictly justified.' (3) The tribunal decision was set aside because, faced with a medical report which had wrong language and a confused focus, the tribunal had failed to analyse the evidence to ..→
- M v East London NHS Foundation Trust CO/1065/2009 — The nearest relative's statement to the AMHP that he disagreed with detention under s3 was sufficient to amount to the notification of an objection under s11; it was unaffected, in the absence of any clear evidence of a change of mind, by the failure to state an objection in a subsequent conversation immediately prior to the making of the application.
- R (Care Principles Ltd) v MHRT; R (AL) v Care Principles Ltd  EWHC 3194 (Admin) — The MHRT's decision to discharge from s2 was not flawed; the subsequent decision to re-detain under s3 was unjustified and unlawful.
- R (Holloway) v Oxfordshire County Council  EWHC 776 (Admin) — The without-notice interim displacement order under s29, and the subsequent detention under s3, were lawful: (1) neither the culpable failure of the council to inform the NR, nor the failure of the judge to enquire into this, deprived the court of jurisdiction; (2) the safeguards in the Act meant that the interim relief did not cause irreversible prejudice, thus Article 6 was not engaged; (3) (obiter) s6(3) would have provided the Trust with a defence to false imprisonment.
- R (M) v South Thames MHRT  EWHC Admin 797 — Tribunal application made while under s2 does not fall if the patient is subsequently placed under s3; patient maintains his separate right to apply under while s3.
- R (Modaresi) v SSH  EWCA Civ 1359 — The claimant's s2 Tribunal application was faxed to the MHA Administrator's office on New Year's Eve, within the 14-day eligibility period, but was not faxed from there to the Tribunal office until after the bank holiday weekend, by which time the 14-day period had expired; the Tribunal therefore rejected the application; the claimant was then placed under s3; the Secretary of State refused to make a s67 reference. (1) Where the Tribunal office is closed on the 14th day of the eligibility period, the period is extended to include the next day that it is open (this is the case even though a fax application can be made when the office is closed). (2) Since the application was made on time, the claim against the Trust (that their inadequate system breached Article 5(4)) was academic. (3) The Secretary of State's decision was not vitiated by being based on the mistaken belief that the application was out of time (as the position was unclear then); requiring the ..→
- R (Mwanza) v LB of Greenwich  EWHC 1462 (Admin) — The claimant was an illegal overstayer who tried to use a s3 admission eight years earlier to obtain free accommodation. (1) An after-care service under s117 must be a service that is necessary to meet a need arising from a person's mental disorder. It does not cover any and all services simply because those services do or may prevent deterioration of relapse of a mental condition. Employment and ordinary accommodation are common needs which do not arise from mental disorder, although mental disorder may give rise to a need for assistance in finding them. However, as a matter of law, ordinary accommodation could fall within s117, although it is difficult readily to envisage any practical examples. (2) On the facts, there could be no duty under s117 to provide what was sought. (3) In any event, eight years earlier a lawful decision had been made to discharge the s117 responsibilities of the local authority and the Trust, so no s117 duty arose. (4) Furthermore, it would be ..→
- R (O) v West London MH NHS Trust  EWHC 604 (Admin) — Hospital managers are under a common law duty to provide both oral and written reasons at the time of the decison; the decision is legally defective if the reasons are inadequate; this defect cannot be cured by later evidence giving a proper explanation of the reasons; the supplementary evidence was more than mere elucidation so was not accepted.
- R (SR) v MHRT  EWHC 2923 (Admin) — MHRT application appealing against s3 falls when patient subsequently made subject to s25A; fresh application required.
- R (TF) v SSJ  EWCA Civ 1457 — (1) Having found that the transfer direction under s47 was unlawful the judge erred by exercising her discretion to refuse relief: an unlawful detention cannot be transmuted into lawful detention by the withholding of relief. (2) A decision to transfer a prisoner to hospital at the end of his sentence deprives him of his liberty and engages Article 5, thus heightening the scrutiny as to the evidence the MoJ and court must apply, and putting the onus on the MoJ to show that the decision maker focused on each of the criteria. (3) Applying this scrutiny it would have been very difficult for the MoJ decision maker to be satisfied that the two reporting doctors had applied their minds to treatability, and it appeared that the decision maker herself had not applied her mind to that question; the decision was therefore unlawful. [Caution.]
- R (Tagoe-Thompson) v The Hospital Managers of the Park Royal Centre  EWCA Civ 330 — Panel of three hospital managers must be unanimous in order to discharge patient.
- R (ZN) v South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (2010) CO/9457/2009 — The de facto detention of an informal incapacitous patient, and the series of detentions under s5(2), was unlawful. (Claim settled by consent.)
- Re MM  MHLO 150 (UT) — (1) The tribunal did not misdirect itself by applying the s2 criteria to a s3 case. (2) However, the tribunal's reasoning was inadequate. The tribunal stated that all the evidence was to the effect that MM's mental disorder 'warrants his treatment in hospital' (this is language from the s2 criteria), but it was only (part of) the medical evidence in which there was any confusion as to the criteria. The findings of fact (that the condition was chronic and relapsing etc) did not show that the mental disorder warranted detention (or made it appropriate). The only finding that could support the tribunal's decision was the medical evidence, which was affected by reference to the wrong legal test. In those circumstances the tribunal should have (a) shown that they had applied the correct criteria and not made the same mistake as the doctor, and (b) shown by precise findings of fact that the s3 criteria were satisfied. A blanket reference to a possibly-contaminated report did not ..→
- Reid v Secretary of State for Scotland  UKHL 43 — (1) Treatability test is part of admission criteria for psychopathic disorder, so entitled to discharge when it is not met; definition of treatment is wide and can include treatment only for symptoms rather than underlying disorder, e.g. anger management. (2) Decision not to discharge not irrational.
- SL v Ludlow Street Healthcare  UKUT 398 (AAC),  MHLO 60 — The patient was living outside hospital on s17 leave but was required to attend hospital for fortnightly psychology sessions and a monthly ward round. He challenged the tribunal's decision that it remained appropriate for him to be liable to be detained in hospital under s3 for medical treatment. This was unsuccessful as the tribunal had applied the correct legal test and had applied it properly. The UT judge added that medical treatment includes rehabilitation under medical supervision, which meant that the s17 leave and the rehabilitation provided outside hospital, both of which operated under medical supervision, were themselves part of the treatment plan.
- TTM v LB Hackney  EWCA Civ 4 — (1) Where a local authority makes an unlawful application to a hospital for the detention of a patient under the MHA, it can be held liable in damages for false imprisonment when its unlawful act directly causes the detention; (2) although the hospital may act lawfully in detaining such a patient under s6(3) (if the application appeared to be duly made) that does not prevent the detention being held to be unlawful from the outset as against the local authority; (3) an application for detention that is made contrary to s11(4) (in the face of the Nearest Relative's objection) is in breach of Article 5(1); (4) Article 5(5) entitles a person detained in breach of Article 5(1) to compensation, and s139(1) (no liability unless bad faith or lack of reasonable care) can be read down so as to allow such a claim to proceed; (5) the word 'practicable' in s12(2) (requiring a recommendation from a doctor with previous acquaintance of the patient if practicable) should be ..→
[The chapter/paragraph numbers which appear below (if any) refer to the 2008 versions of the Code of Practice and Reference Guide.]
- Reference Guide to the Mental Health Act 1983, 2. Compulsory admission to hospital under Part 2 of the Act [Note that the chapter number relates to the old Reference Guide] — paragraphs 2.6 to 2.14
- Mental Health Act 1983 Code Of Practice for England, 4. Applications for detention in hospital
Admission for treatment
3.- (1) A patient may be admitted to a hospital and detained there for the period allowed by the following provisions of this Act in pursuance of an application (in this Act referred to as "an application for admission for treatment") made in accordance with this section.
(2) An application for admission for treatment may be made in respect of a patient on the grounds that—
- (a) he is suffering from [mental disorder] of a nature or degree which makes it appropriate for him to receive medical treatment in a hospital; and
- (c) it is necessary for the health or safety of the patient or for the protection of other persons that he should receive such treatment and it cannot be provided unless he is detained under this section[; and
- (d) appropriate medical treatment is available for him.]
(3) An application for admission for treatment shall be founded on the written recommendations in the prescribed form of two registered medical practitioners, including in each case a statement that in the opinion of the practitioner the conditions set out in subsection (2) above are complied with; and each such recommendation shall include -
- (a) such particulars as may be prescribed of the grounds for that opinion so far as it relates to the conditions set out in paragraphs (a) and [(d)] of that subsection; and
- (b) a statement of the reasons for that opinion so far as it relates to the conditions set out in paragraph (c) of that subsection, specifying whether other methods of dealing with the patient are available and, if so, why they are not appropriate.
[(4) In this Act, references to appropriate medical treatment, in relation to a person suffering from mental disorder, are references to medical treatment which is appropriate in his case, taking into account the nature and degree of the mental disorder and all other circumstances of his case.]
- Mental Health Act 2007 s1 & sch 11, s4, s55 & sch 11; Mental Health Act 2007 (Commencement No.7 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2008 wef 3/11/08