Section 3 of Mental Health Act?


Registered User
Sep 4, 2008
East Midlands
Can anyone help me find the actual wording of Section 3 of the Mental Health Act - I'm not clear at the moment whether it is being used for detention or for restraint or both, or maybe for giving medication? This is being applied to a person with dementia with symptoms where harm may be caused to the person and/or to others by physical violence e.g. throwing chairs, and by the difficulty with help with personal care etc.
This person is in an NHS specialist facility.
I would appreciate knowing the actual wording.


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
ASs far as I can remember from two years ago, section III was brought into play because a young mentally handicapped lad (I think his name was Bourne) was left for 7 years under the mental health act on a ward without having any reviews during the whole of that time.

Section III ensures that medication is reviewed every 6 months by an outside agency. That's not to say that the hospital consultant shouldn't be regularly reviewing medication - it just means that an outside consultant has to come to review the medication.

There are other, less beneficial rules about section III. The patient cannot be taken off the ward, say for a walk in the hospital grounds, without the written consent of the consultant in charge of the case. I felt that I had lost all normal rights under the sectioning. I managed to get the consultant to let my husband come home with me twice a week for three hours. On one of the visits he soiled himself and I ran a bath to clean him up. I phoned the ward to tell them I would be a bit late and was told that I could not bring him back late and that if I did they would send the police to bring him back. I explained about the bath but was told to let the water out and bring him back immediately!

You can, as nearest relative, contest the section III order but with the weight of the hospital consultants, lawyers etc., against you it would be a very daunting thing to attempt.

Once the patient is deemed to be well enough to go on to a care home, or indeeds come home, the costs of care are fully funded. I'm not sure who pays the bills for continuing care but it does not come out of the patient's funds.