Patients already in hospital

Both Sections 2 and 3 can be applied to patients already in hospital. In emergencies, it is possible to use Section 5 as follows:

Section 5(2) (application in respect of a patient already in hospital): a voluntary patient can be detained on the recommendation of one doctor, normally the responsible consultant or named deputy, for up to 72 hours. Section 5(4) (nurses' holding power): a voluntary patient can be detained by a registered mental nurse for up to 6 hours until a doctor is found.

Section 5 may be converted into Section 2 or Section 3 by the appropriate medical and social work opinions.

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