On 1 April the mental health section of the Home Office's C3 Division was renamed “Mental Health Unit”, as part of a wider initiative to streamline the Department and give more meaningful titles to the various different areas of work. The responsibilities of our Unit remain the same, however. First, we deal with the cases of restricted patients under mental health legislation. As well as advising Ministers or taking decisions on their behalf about leave, transfers and discharge, the Unit also authorises the transfer of mentally disordered prisoners to hospital. This prison transfer work is focused in a separate section of the Unit which is able to provide a very rapid response to urgent requests for transfer warrants. The number of transfers has gone up from 337 in 1990 to over 700 in each of the last three years.
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