The main purpose of the Mental Health Act 1983 is to allow compulsory action to be taken, where necessary, to make sure that people with mental disorders get the care and treatment they need for their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people.

It sets out the criteria that must be met before compulsory measures can be taken, along with protections and safeguards for patients.

As with any legislation it can be complex and difficult to navigate through the Mental Health Act, so these pages can help you with accessing information, keeping up to date and being aware of how we manage the act:

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Care Quality Commission - Mental Health Act

Since April 2009, the CQC has been responsible for monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act in relation to those patients detained in hospital, subject to guardianship or placed on a community treatment order.

Each year they publish reports using the findings of commissioners, who visit wards and meet with patients to ensure that the act's powers are being used correctly.

They also use information from second opinion appointed doctors (SOADs) who visit wards to ensure prescribed treatment is appropriate.

The CQC publishes a number of documents on its own site including guidance notes for professional working with the Mental Health Act. You can access this site by visiting