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Ambiguity in Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983: A survey of Section 12(2) approved doctors in the West Midlands

  • Laofe Ogundipe (a1), Femi Oyebode (a2) and Amanda Knight (a3)
Abstract
AIMS and Method

To investigate the interpretation of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 by Section 12(2) approved doctors and to describe a pathway that facilitates early assessment of people detained under Section 136. We surveyed a random sample of Section 12(2) approved doctors in the West Midlands.

Results

A response rate of 70% was achieved. Approximately 65% believe that it would be illegal to transfer a person under Section 136 from the police station to a further place of safety, such as hospital. Thirty-five per cent believed that this could be done legally or were unsure.

Clinical Implications

Ambiguity still remains about the legal interpretations of the provisions of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, which needs to be rectified.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Deramore, Ercall Heath, Nr Newport TF10 8NQ
References
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Bhatti, V., Kinney-Herbert, J., et al (1998) Knowledge of current mental health legislation among medical practitioners approved under section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 in the West Midlands. Health Trends, 30, 106108.
Code of Practice (1999) Mental Health Act 1983. London: The Stationery Office.
Dunn, J. & Fahy, T. (1987) Section 136 and the police. Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 11, 224225.
Kelleher, M. J. & Copeland, J. R. (1972) Compulsory psychiatric admission by the police. Medicine, Science and the Law, 12, 220224.
The Maudsley Guidelines (1999) The Maze; Mental Health Act 1983 Guidelines. London: Bethlem and Maudsley NHS Trust.
Mokhtar, A. & Hogbin, P. (1993) Police may underuse section 136. Medicine, Science and the Law, 33, 188196.
Moser, C. A. & Katton, G. (1979) Survey Methods in Social Investigations. London: Buttler and Tanner.
Rassaby, E. & Rogers, A. (1987) Variations in disposal at different places of safety. Bulletin of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 11, 7881.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
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Ambiguity in Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983: A survey of Section 12(2) approved doctors in the West Midlands

  • Laofe Ogundipe (a1), Femi Oyebode (a2) and Amanda Knight (a3)
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