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Mental health patients and care – what are my rights?

What if a patient is sectioned and can no longer take care of themselves?

If a patient is sectioned under the Mental Health Act and they are unable to take care of themselves, then that responsibility transfers to the hospital or the mental health unit. The hospital or unit have a very serious responsibility to ensure the patient is safe because they are now being looked after by the state.

What if someone suffers an injury or comes to harm during mental health care?

If a vulnerable person has come to harm whilst being looked after by the hospital or unit, then the first thing to do is speak to those who’ve been treating your loved one. Find out who was responsible for their care and ask whether they’ve investigated and if you can make a complaint to find out happened. Any inquest that takes place will look at whether their human rights were breached.

How can I take legal action?

If speaking to the hospital or unit hasn’t helped or enabled you to learn how they failed in their duty of care, you can contact a solicitor who will be able to provide advice about the next key steps. 

Useful links

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, you can seek help from one of the following charities:


Bipolar UK

Anxiety UK

Big White Wall


If you need legal advice you can speak to the team to arrange an initial consultation on 0330 107 5089 or start your claim online and we’ll call you.

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