Skip to main content
  • Follow us
  • Twitter

Compulsory treatment orders

A compulsory treatment order (CTO) allows for a person to be treated for their mental illness. 

The CTO will set out a number of conditions that you will need to comply with.  These conditions will depend on whether you have to stay in hospital or are in the community.

Your Mental Health Officer will make an application for a CTO to the Mental Health Tribunal.  The application must include two medical reports, an MHO report and a proposed care plan.  You and your named person should be informed if an application for a CTO is to be made.

The Mental Health Tribunal decides whether a CTO is to be granted.  The Tribunal is made up of three people - a lawyer, a psychiatrist and another person with relevant skills and experience, e.g. a nurse, social worker or someone with personal experience of mental disorder. You have the right to make your views heard by the Tribunal.

The CTO can last up to six months.  It can be extended for a further six months and then for periods of 12 months at a time. 

You can be given medical treatment while on a CTO if the Tribunal agree to it or in an emergency.  Your RMO must follow the safeguards outlined in Part 16 of the Mental Health Act when giving you treatment.

You have the right to an independent advocate. This is someone who helps you say what you think about your treatment. Your mental health officer should let you know how to get help from an independent advocate.

If a compulsory treatment order is made, you, or your named person, can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for it to be removed, once the order has been in force for three months. Your RMO should keep the need for the order under constant review and can revoke it if you no longer need to be subject to the order.

The Scottish Government has produced guides on the Mental Health Act which we recommend to service users and their carers.