A community treatment order (CTO) also known as supervised community treatment is a legal framework for ensuring that certain people receive compulsory care and treatment in the community.
A CTO can only be made if you are detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act. In order to make you subject to one, your Responsible Clinician in hospital and someone known as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) have to agree that certain legal criteria are met. Only if they both agree can the order be made.
All CTOs have mandatory conditions. They are:
- That you must meet with your Responsible Clinician for him/her to examine you if they wish to extent the CTO, and
- That you meet with a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor if they need to meet you to review your treatment.
Most CTO’s will also have discretionary conditions. These are individually tailored to your case. They can only be added if they are necessary or appropriate to give you medical treatment, prevent a risk of harm to your health or safety, or to protect other people. Discretionary conditions may include things such as where you live, medication you must take and avoiding drugs/alcohol among other things.
The CTO lasts initially for up to 6 months and is renewable for 6 months in the first instance and then for periods of 1 year thereafter. Every time your Responsible Clinician wishes to renew the CTO you will automatically be given a Hospital Managers Hearing. The panel at that hearing is independent and have the power to discharge the CTO if they do not agree you should be subject to it. We can advise you and attend those hearings with you.
If you are unhappy with being subject to a CTO you can appeal against it to a Mental Health Tribunal and the Hospital Managers. We can represent you at those hearings too.
All CTO’s carry a power to recall you to hospital in certain circumstances. If you are recalled to hospital you can be there for up to 72 hours. If it is felt you need to be in hospital for longer than that then the CTO can be revoked which means you become subject to whichever section you were on when you were last in hospital (i.e. 3, 37 etc).
It is possible for you to be discharged from the CTO by your Responsible Clinician, your Nearest Relative, the Hospital Managers, and the Tribunal.
For further help and advice concerning Supervised Community Treatment contact our Newcastle or South Shields offices and speak to one of our experienced team.