Section aaf5(2), Mental Health Act 1983 LCREM

Section aaf5(2), Mental Health Act 1983 LCREM

The section of the Mental Health Act which allows detention of a patient already in hospital—i.e., who is already an inpatient—for up to 72 hours. The doctor in charge (or, in the case of a consultant psychiatrist, his or her deputy) applies to the hospital managers, 24/7.

The Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) on duty should be informed as soon as a Section 5(2) is applied, because the AMHP is responsible for co-ordinating the full Mental Health Act Assessment. A patient in A&E is not an inpatient, so cannot be detained under Section 5(2); the recourse for individuals who are a manifest danger to themselves or others is limited to temporary restraint, permitted that The Mental Capacity Act or Common Law is all that is available while awaiting assessment by a psychiatrist, no matter how mentally unstable the person appears. Those responsible for the person should plan where he or she is to go before the 72 hours have elapsed, e.g. by liaising with psychiatrists for admission under Section 2.
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