Your rights to Supervised Community Treatment are outlined in section 4 of the Mental Health Act. Under this health law, Supervised Community Treatment means that a person has been given a community treatment order (CTO) after they have left hospital.
If you are given a CTO, you must meet five particular criteria. These are:
– You suffer from a mental disorder which makes medical treatment appropriate
– This treatment is needed for the protection the health and safety of you or other people
– This treatment can be provided without your continuing detention in a hospital
– A responsible clinician should be able to recall you to hospital if this is required for your treatment or to protect the health and safety of you and others
– You can receive appropriate medical treatment
Although one of the conditions of your order may be that you have to take medication, you cannot legally be forced to take your medicine or receive any other medical treatment while you are in the community. This can only happen within a hospital.
CTOs can last for as long as six months. After this time, the CTO may be extended or recalled. Initially, it can be extended for six months, and can then be extended for a year after this first extension.
While on a CTO, you may have to oblige with certain conditions; however, these conditions can only be imposed if they are necessary to ensure you receive medical treatment, and that your safety and the safety of others is not put at risk.
The conditions of your CTO may be altered or suspended by your responsible clinician. If you fail to comply with any of the conditions of your CTO, this failure will be considered when deciding whether to recall you under your original section.
Some of the reasons a CTO may end include:
– Your responsible clinician feels you need to go back to hospital, which will see you detained under your original section. You must fit the relevant legal criteria under health law if you are to return to hospital involuntarily.
– Hospital managers, your responsible clinician, the mental health tribunal or your nearest relative ends the CTO. This may happen if they believe you no longer require it. You cannot be recalled to hospital under the CTO once it has ended.
Hospital mangers should refer you to a mental health tribunal six months into your initial detention to enquire into discharging you into a CTO, if you have not made the application yourself. You may be asked to receive additional community care, or it may be determined that you require no further care.
If you need any further information about mental health law or want to know what your rights are, then you should speak with a solicitor who is experienced in areas of health law. They can represent you, check that your CTO was done by the book, and ensure your rights are not breached.