Section 117 of The Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007) places a duty on primary care trusts, local health authorities and local social services in co-operation with voluntary agencies to provide aftercare to patients once they leave hospital. This only applies however if you were detained on certain sections in hospital.
Before discharge from hospital the multi-disciplinary team (made up of psychiatric and social work professionals who care for the patient) must assess the patients health and social care needs and ensure a care plan has been put together to address them. It is also good practice for professionals to hold an aftercare planning meeting prior to a Managers Hearing or Mental Health Tribunal so that these plans can then be put in place if the panel discharges the patient.
Aftercare is not defined under the Act but may include housing, day services, and medical treatment for mental health among other things. These services must be provided and paid for by the various bodies until they are satisfied that the patient no longer needs them.
If you need advice or help with any aspect of aftercare contact our experienced team of Mental Health Law Specialists at the Newcastle upon Tyne. We can also offer appointments at our South Shields office.