Bite-sized learning - Mental Health Act and Deprivation of Liberty (DoL) must-dos

Our Mental Health Act (MHA) Team need your help - The 1983 Act is a legal power that enables the Trust to detain a person for assessment or treatment for a mental disorder.

Depending upon which section of the Act is used determines what you can or can’t do. When the process is not followed correctly it may result in a case for unlawful detention, which means a patient has been deprived of their liberty without the legal authorisation.

So here are some typical scenarios which can lead to incorrect process:

  • Papers not being accepted by the Senior Nurse (Matron / Site Commander/ ward manager who has had training)
  • Partial completion of papers
  • Incorrectly completing the papers
  • The correct people not being told of the detention (MHA Office at the Dales)
  • Trusts have lost and misplaced papers

All the above could mean the process wasn’t followed correctly by the ward/ senior nurse/ Doctor who fills in the paperwork

How to make a difference

  • If you need to attend the MHA Receipt and Scrutiny training - please attend it
  • Ensure you follow the correct process for sectioning each patient. These are in the Section packs
  • Ring the MHA Office team (based in The Dales) if you have any queries. Tel : 01422 222731/ 222733 (office hours Mon- Thurs 8-5pm / Friday until 8-4 pm)
  • You can ring the Mental Health Liaison Team (MHLT) for support and also out of hours - the team are available 24/7 on Halifax 01422 224624 or Huddersfield 01484 355521
  • Ring the MHLT when you use a section pack

Pictured left to right: Michelle Woolley (Mental Health Act Administrator), Kelly Reittie (MHA/MCA Admin Manager), Vicky Thersby (Head of Safeguarding) and Carly Thimm (MHA/MCA Manager)