Three hundred and fifty-six patients admitted under sections of the Mental Health Act (1983) were studied. One hundred and twenty-six (35%) patients appealed against their detentions and 52 of these appeals were heard. Only 18 patients were discharged from their detentions by the Tribunal in the study period. Younger patients were more likely to appeal and no patient whose first language was not English appealed in the study period. The tribunals appear to be a fair system once the opportunity to appeal is taken up.
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