Section aae4, Mental Health Act 1983 LCREM

Section aae4, Mental Health Act 1983 LCREM

The section of the UK’s Mental Health Act 1983 which guides emergency treatment (up to 72 hours) of a person with (serious) mental illness. The admission to hospital must be an urgent necessity, and may be used if admission under Section 2 of the Act would cause undesirable delay (admission must follow the recommendation rapidly).

An Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) or, very rarely, the nearest relative, makes the application after recommendation from one doctor (e.g., the GP). The GP should keep a supply of the relevant forms, as the AMHP may be unavailable. A Section-4 admission is usually converted to a Section 2 on arrival in hospital, following the recommendation of the duty psychiatrist. If the second recommendation is not completed, the patient should be discharged as soon as the decision not to convert to Section 2 is made. The Section should not be allowed to lapse.

Two doctors must sign the appropriate forms and know why treatment in the community is contraindicated. They must have seen the patient within 24 hours and there may not be more than 5 clear days between the time the first doctor saw the patient and the time when the second doctor saw the patient. The doctors must state that treatment is likely to benefit the patient or prevent deterioration, or that it is necessary for the health or safety of the patient or the protection of others. The AMHP has 14 days after the second doctor has signed his or her recommendation in which to make an application to hospital.
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