Mental Health Act 1983 (England & Wales)

Allows detention of patients for (1) treatment of mental disorder (not physical illness), (2) health and safety of the patient or of others.

Section 2 (Admission for Assessment)
Needs approved social worker/nearest relative) + GP + psychiatrist.
28 days not renewable.
Section 3 (Admission for Treament)
Exact diagnosis required. Treatment must either improve the patient or prevent deterioration. Care in the community must be contraindicated. Needs NR/ASW + GP + psychiatrist.
6 months (renewable for a further 6 months and annually thereafter).
Section 4 (Emergency Treatment)
Urgent admission hospital necessary (otherwise use Section 2). Needs NR/ASW + GP. May convert to Section 2 but not Section 3.
72 hours not renewable.
Section 5(2) (Doctor's emergency holding powers)
Detention of informal inpatient by any doctor. Usually converted to Section 2.
72 hours not renewable.
Section 5(4) (Nurse's emergency holding powers)
Detention of an informal inpatient by nurse.
6 hours not renewable.
Section 136 (Police powers)
Police may take the patient to a place of safety (usually A&E) pending assessment (usually converted to Section 2).
72 hours not renewable.