Since 1959, the responsibility to detain a patient in hospital compulsorily has been given to doctors, social workers and hospital managers. The 1983 Mental Health Act stipulates that medical recommendations are made by two medical practitioners (one an “approved” doctor) for compulsory admission for assessment (Section 2) and compulsory admission for treatment (Section 3). When this was debated in Parliament, the importance of the independence of the two doctors making medical recommendations was stressed. This was to avoid collusion, influence or interference with clinical judgement (Bluglass, 1983).
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