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In relative danger? The outcome of patients discharged by their nearest relative from sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act

  • Philip Shaw (a1), Matthew Hotopf (a1) and Anthony Davies (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Among the proposed changes in the current review of mental health legislation in England and Wales is the abolition of the right of the nearest relative to discharge patients from assessment and treatment orders (Sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983). We aimed to determine the clinical outcome of patients whose nearest relative applies for discharge. A retrospective case–control cohort study in a south London NHS Trust of 51 patients successfully discharged by their nearest relative and 33 patients whose nearest-relative applications were blocked by the treating psychiatrist on the grounds of ‘dangerousness'.

Results

Patients discharged from section by their nearest relative did not differ significantly from controls in all the measures of clinical outcome examined.

Clinical Implications

This study suggests that discharges by the nearest relative against psychiatric advice are not associated with a poor clinical outcome.

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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.
References
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Adams, S. J., Pitre, N. L. & Cieszkoswki, R. (1997) Who applies to the Regional Review Boards and what are the outcomes? Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 42, 7076.
Department of Health (1998) Mental Health Act Commission. Eighth Biennial Report 1998. London: HMSO.
Department of Health (1999) H. M. Government's Green Paper on Reform of the Mental Health Act 1983: Proposals for Consultation. London: HMSO.
Hotopf, M., Wall, S., Buchanan, A., et al (2000) Changing patterns in the use of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales, 1984–1996. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 479484.
Myers, D. H. (1997) Mental health review tribunals: a follow-up of reviewed patients. British Journal of Psychiatry, 170, 253256.
Wall, S., Buchanan, A., Fahy, T., et al (1999) A Systematic Review into the Use of the Mental Health Act 1983. London: HMSO.
Wilkinson, P. & Sharpe, M. (1993) What happens to patients discharged by the Mental Health ReviewTribunals? Psychiatric Bulletin, 17, 337338.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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In relative danger? The outcome of patients discharged by their nearest relative from sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act

  • Philip Shaw (a1), Matthew Hotopf (a1) and Anthony Davies (a2)
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