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Short-term detention

Short-term detention should be the usual route into hospital under the law, as there are more safeguards for the individual.  

It can only take place if recommended by a psychiatrist and a mental health officer. Your named person should also be consulted.

The hospital must appoint a psychiatrist as your responsible medical officer (RMO). Your RMO should examine you, talk to you to find out your wishes, read your advance statement if you have one, and decide if you need treatment.

If your doctor feels that treatment is in your best interests, this can be given without your consent. Your RMO must follow the safeguards outlined in part 16 of the Mental Health Act when giving you treatment.

The hospital should give you information about your stay in hospital and explain your rights. They should help you to get an independent advocate.

You, or your named person, can appeal against your short-term detention to the Mental Health Tribunal.

The Scottish Government has produced guides on the Mental Health Act which, although under review, may be helpful to people receiving care and treatment and their carers.

Click here to view the Scottish Government's guide to short-term detention certificates

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