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Hospital Direction

When would this be used?

If you are given a prison sentence the court can decide you need treatment for your mental disorder. You should be examined by two doctors, one should be a psychiatrist. They must believe:

  • you have a mental illness, learning disability, dementia, or related condition
  • you need treatment to keep you and others safe

How long can this order last for?

This order ends at the same time as your prison sentence.

If the order stops before your sentence, you go to prison for the rest of the time left.

If you are in hospital at the end of your prison sentence, your doctor may think you need to stay in hospital. They can ask the Mental Health Tribunal to decide this.

What happens next?

The Scottish Ministers:

  • must agree if you move to another hospital
  • must agree if you leave the hospital
  • must keep reviewing if you need to be on the order
  • can sometimes order you to go to prison for the rest of the sentence

Agree to treatment?

You could be treated under Part 16 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. There is further information on our page on safeguarding treatments under mental health law. There is also information in a Scottish Government leaflet, 'A guide for people involved in criminal justice proceedings'.

Can I appeal against this order?

You can appeal to the court against the order being made. Appeal means to ask the court to change its decision. You and your named person can ask the Mental Health Tribunal to change or stop the order. This would mean that you would return to prison.

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