Monday, November 3, 2008

Fears over new drug orders for mental health patients - Powers to administer compulsory treatment come into force today

Campaigners have expressed concern about the potential misuse of new powers for the compulsory treatment of people with mental illness that come into force in England today.

Under changes to mental health legislation, some patients discharged from hospital may be placed under a community treatment order (CTO) that forces them to take their medication – even where they may have damaging side-effects and be of limited use.

The changes are designed to help so-called "revolving door" patients, those stuck in a cycle where they stop taking their medication and become so unwell that they require hospital admission.

Now where a patient refuses to take medication, they can be held and treated in hospital for 72 hours. If they still refuse, the CTO is revoked and they become a detained patient again.


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