Mental Health Act 1983: Safeguards (England)

by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Tim Branton and Dr Nick Brindle


Last reviewed: September 2020


The presence of specific safeguards within the MHA 1983 provides an important counterbalance to the extensive powers that are inherent in the Act.


Their effectiveness relies on professionals being both aware of the safeguards themselves and their responsibility to notify patients and Nearest Relatives of their rights under the Act.


This module considers some of the main safeguards specific to the Mental Health Act 1983 and its use in England. 


The module covers:


  • the Code of Practice


  • Nearest Relatives


  • Independent Mental Health Advocates


  • the Tribunal


  • the duties of the Responsible Authority


  • conflicts of interests when undertaking an MHA 1983 Assessment


  • the Care Quality Commission and the Second Opinion Appointed Doctor.


Start the module



If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Mental Health Act 1983: Criteria for detention by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Tim Branton and Dr Nick Brindle


Mental health and tribunal law: Part 1 – an introduction by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Mental health and tribunal law: Part 2 – Section 72 of the Mental Health Act by Dr Sanjay Khurmi


Community treatment orders by Dr Guy Brookes, Dr Nick Brindle and Dr Tim Branton



BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online



Related Advances articles


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Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Professional standards safeguard the care of people under the Mental Health Act 1983 as they do across all clinical practice. The need for (generally speaking) three professionals to agree to the appropriateness of detention also reduces the risk of people being detained without due consideration.



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