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Section 136 – Assessment of mental health – via police contact

This leaflet includes information for people who have been brought to a place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act. It includes how long a person can be kept at the place of safety and what happens next.

This leaflet may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the permission of Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

  • Patient's name and place of safety

    1. Patient’s name

    ..................................................................................................................................................................

    2. Place of safety

    .................................................................................................................................................................

  • Why am I in hospital?

    You have been brought to this place of safety by a police officer because they are concerned that you may have a mental disorder and should be seen by a mental health professional.

    You are being kept here under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 so that you can be assessed to see if you need treatment.

  • How long will I be here?

    You can be kept here (or in another place where you will be safe) for up to 24 hours so that you can be seen by a doctor and an approved mental health professional. A doctor can extend this for up to 12 hours if they are unable to complete assessment due to your clinical presentation.

    An approved mental health professional is someone who has been specially trained to help decide whether people need to be kept in hospital.

    If the doctor and the approved mental health professional agree that you need to remain in hospital, a second doctor may be asked to see you to confirm their decision.

    During this time you must not leave unless you are told that you may. If you try to go, the staff can stop you, and if you leave you can be brought back.

    If the doctors and the approved mental health professional have not seen you by the end of the 24 hours, and not extension has been made, you will be free to leave.

    In your case the 24 hours end at:

    Date.........................................................................................................................................................

    Time........................................................................................................................................................

  • What happens next?

    When the doctors and an approved mental health professional have seen you, they may say that you need to stay in hospital for longer. They will tell you why and for how long this is likely to be. You will be given another leaflet that explains what will happen.

    If they decide that you do not have to stay, someone will talk to you about what other help you should have.

  • Can I appeal?

    No. Even if you do not agree that you need to be in hospital, you cannot appeal against the decision to keep you here under section 136.

  • Will I be given treatment?

    The hospital staff will tell you about any treatment, this will occur on admission if felt necessary not at the place of safety suite. You have the right to refuse any treatment you do not want. Only in special circumstances, which would be explained to you, can you be given treatment you do not agree to.

  • Code of Practice

    There is a Code of Practice that gives advice to the staff in the hospital about the Mental Health Act and treating people for mental disorder. The staff have to consider what the Code says when they take decisions about your care. You can ask to see a copy of the Code, if you want

  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about the service?

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:
    • talk to the people directly involved in your care
    • ask a member of staff for a feedback form, or complete a form on the Trust website www.cntw.nhs.uk (click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab)
    • telephone the Complaints Department 0191 245 6672
    • email complaints@cntw.nhs.uk Please note that information sent to the Trust via email is sent at your own risk
    • We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention.
    You can provide feedback in the following ways:
    - the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    www.cntw.nhs.uk/poy
    - complete a Points of You survey, available from staff.

    If you do not feel that the hospital complaints procedure can help you, you can complain to an independent Commission. This is called the Care Quality Commission and it monitors how the Mental Health Act is used, to make sure it is used correctly and that patients are cared for properly while they are in hospital. The hospital staff can give you a leaflet explaining how to contact the Commission.

  • Further help and information

    If there is anything you do not understand about your care and treatment, a member of staff will try to help you. Please ask a member of staff to explain if there is anything in this leaflet you do not understand or if you have other questions that this leaflet has not answered.

    Please ask if you would like another copy of this leaflet for someone else.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2020 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/206/1217 December 2017 V4 (CNTW(C)09)
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 246 7288
    Review date 2020