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Impact of compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 on future visa and insurance applications

  • Rebecca Hurrell (a1), Ben J. Di Mambro (a2) and Gillian A. Doody (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To assess the extent to which psychiatric history, with specific regard to compulsory psychiatric admission, is questioned in visa, insurance and permit applications. Application forms for the top UK destinations for immigration, work and travel visas, six types of insurance, and driving, sporting and vocational permits were analysed.

Results

Psychiatric history is questioned in some applications across all visa types. Hospital admission, but not compulsory psychiatric admission, is questioned in some immigration visas. Psychiatric history is not questioned in mortgage protection, car or pet insurance but it is questioned in some travel, life and health insurance applications, as is hospital admission. The majority of permit applications questioned psychiatric history and one vocational permit considered compulsory psychiatric admission.

Clinical implications

The majority of visa, insurance and permit application forms enquire about past medical and psychiatric history. Information concerning detention under the Mental Health Act is very rarely questioned, indicating that a direct link between detention and access restriction is not evident.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Rebecca Hurrell (mzyarh@nottingham.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Stuart, H. Fighting the stigma caused by mental disorders: past perspectives, present activities, and future directions. World Psychiatry 2008; 7: 185–8.
2 Thornicroft, G, Brohan, E, Kassam, A, Lewis-Holmes, E. Reducing stigma and discrimination: candidate interventions. Int J Ment Health Syst 2008; 2: 3.
3 Henderson, C, Flood, C, Leese, M, Thornicroft, G, Sutherby, K, Szmukler, G. Effect of joint crisis plans on use of compulsory treatment in psychiatry: single-blind randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2004; 329: 745–8.
4 Allen, D, Allen, K. Do patients who have been on ‘sections’ get refused visas? Psychiatr Bull 1994; 18: 216–7.
5 Duggirala, C. Refusal of visas. Psychiatr Bull 1994; 18: 508.
6 Department of Health. In-Patients Formally Detained in Hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and Other Legislation, England: 1996–97 to 2006–07. Government Statistical Service, 2007.
7 Office for National Statistics. International Migration, Series MN No. 33. ONS, 2006 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=507).
8 Office for National Statistics. Travel Trends 2006 – A Report on the International Passenger Survey. ONS, 2008 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_transport/TravelTrends2006.pdf).
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Impact of compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 on future visa and insurance applications

  • Rebecca Hurrell (a1), Ben J. Di Mambro (a2) and Gillian A. Doody (a1)
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