To understand circumstances in which urgent treatment provisions are used in clinical practice, by means of a retrospective study. A list of patients to whom Sections 62, 64B and 64G of the Mental Health Act 1983 were applied during the 1-year study period was obtained from the information technology department. Case notes were traced for detailed information on the circumstances of use of these provisions.
The most common reason for urgent treatment was to continue the established treatment plan rather than to start a new treatment (45% Section 62, 84% Section 64). The urgent treatment provisions were most commonly used because of a delay in examination by a second opinion appointed doctor in 45% cases for Section 62 and 84% cases for Sections 64B and 64G.
This is probably unlawful use of the urgent treatment provisions.
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