Guardianship Order

Guardianship Orders
Legally reviewed by: Tim Lumb

Detention Under Guardianship Section 7 Order of the Mental Health Act 1983 – The Law and Your Rights

If you or a loved one are placed in Detention Under Guardianship Section 7 Order of the Mental Health Act, it gives a guardian – often a local services authority – certain powers over you. Our specialist Mental Health Team will ensure that a Detention Under Guardianship Order has been lawfully administered and your rights are protected.

For sensitive, straightforward advice about Detention Under Guardianship, get in touch with our dedicated Mental Health team today.

Benefit from a free, initial telephone conversation

If you or a loved one are subject to a Guardianship Order, benefit from a free initial discussion with our Mental Health Law Team.

There’s no substitute for speaking to a specialist solicitor for help understanding your rights and the best course of action to take for your case.

We’re here to ensure that you’re not alone. For immediate action, call us or email us for your free* initial discussion. 

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

*Please be aware that this is a ‘get to know you’ call and no advice will be given.

Coronavirus and the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has made changes to the Mental Health Act complaint process in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The CQC is prioritising complaints from or about people who are currently detained on an inpatient ward in hospital and aims to ‘identify ways to help support people through Mental Health Act monitoring, resulting in a quicker resolution to a complaint or concern’.

 All other complaints will be reviewed but may be paused due to coronavirus. You can email enquiries@cqc.org.uk or call 03000 616161 to make a complaint.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

What conditions come with Detention Under Guardianship?

Detention Under Guardianship Section 7 Order of the Mental Health Act is a section that is only applied to a small number of people. It gives a guardian the following powers:

  • Requiring a person subject to detention to reside at a certain residence 
  • Requiring an individual subject to detention to attend a certain facility for medical treatment, occupation, education or training
  • Requiring the person subject to detention to make themselves available to be seen by a doctor or other mental health professional

Who can be subject to Detention Under Guardianship?

Detention Under Guardianship can only be applied if a doctor diagnoses that you are suffering from a mental health disorder. The doctor must specify why it’s in your best interests, or how your detention protects the welfare of others, to justify your Detention Under Guardianship.

How long does Detention Under Guardianship last?

Detention Under Guardianship Section 7 Order initially lasts for six months. However, should health professionals decide that you should be in detention for longer than the initial six months, it can be renewed for an additional six months. Thereafter, it can be renewed every 12 months.

How do I come off a Guardianship Order?

The doctor responsible for your care can discharge you at any time if you no longer need to be in Detention Under Guardianship. 

Your nearest relative can request your discharge. Once your nearest relative makes such a request, your doctor has 72 hours in which to agree or disagree. Your nearest relative can only ask for your discharge once during a six-month period.

A Tribunal can discharge you – either immediately or on a set date. A Tribunal involves a more in-depth review of your case, which is carried out by a three-person, independent panel that includes a lawyer, a psychiatrist and a public representative. 

A Tribunal can:

  • discharge you (immediately or delayed for a period of time)
  • adjourn for further information
  • make binding recommendations

If the six months lapses and Detention Under Guardianship is not renewed, it expires and you will be discharged.

Do I have to stay in the place of residence I'm told to?

No. There is no power under a Guardianship Order that requires you to remain at a place of residence. However, if a mental health professional thinks that it is not in your best interests, or that the safety of others might be at risk, they can order that you are returned to the place of residence – by the police if necessary.

Do I have to take medication?

If you are detained under a Guardianship Order, you cannot be forced to take medication against your wishes. However, if you are required to attend a certain facility for medical treatment, you can be taken there. 

While you still can’t be forced to take medication, this may result in you being taken into hospital under a different section of the Mental Health Act for treatment.

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