What is a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act?


What is a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act?



A Section 5 (4) is a temporary nursing holding power to ensure the immediate safety of a hospital in-service user while assessment by a doctor is arranged.

Who would place someone on a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act?

A registered Mental Health Nurse.

How often is a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act used?

A Section 5 (4) holding power lasts for up to six hours and is rarely used.

Why can’t you appeal against a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act?

There is no right to appeal against a Section 5 (4) as it is reassessed quickly by a doctor. The Section 5 (4) ends when the doctor arrives to complete their assessment.

How does a Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act work in practice?

If there was no doctor available to complete an assessment and a service user needed to be prevented from leaving the hospital, because there was an immediate concern about their health or safety or for the protection of others, the registered mental health nurse could use Section 5(4) to provide immediate safety.