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Tuesday 17th September 2019

Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice (2008 Revised)

27th March 2009

With the 2007 Mental Health Act, the Government updated the 1983 Act to bring it into line with the way that mental health services are, and should be, delivered.


This Code of Practice provides guidance and advice to registered medical practitioners, approved clinicians, managers and staff of hospitals, and approved mental health professionals on how they should proceed when undertaking duties under the Act.

It also gives general guidance to doctors and other professionals about certain aspects of medical treatment for mental disorders. This Code of Practice is a vital reference tool for those caring for people who have been admitted to hospital and care homes with mental health problems. Written by the Department of Health and produced following wide consultation with those who provide and receive services under the Mental Health Act, this Code of Practice will come into force in November 2008.

This Code of Practice will be essential reading for all those working in primary care, Mental Health Trusts, and NHS Foundation Trusts, as well as solicitors and attorneys who advise on mental health law. It should also be beneficial to the police and ambulance services, and others within the health and social services, who are involved in providing services to people who are subject to compulsory measures under the Act. Those working with people with specific mental health needs, such as those in nursing and care homes and those in prison, should also find this Code of Practice useful.


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