Mental Health Law

What can we help you with?

  • Advice when you are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended)
  • Representation at the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health);
  • Representation at the Upper-tier Tribunal;
  • Assistance with Hospital Managers Hearings;
  • Advice about Care Programme Approach (CPA) and section 117 meetings;
  • Advice on voluntary inpatient admissions;
  • Assistance with issues about treatment and progress both in hospital and in the community
  • Help to challenge unlawful detention
  • Advice on the provision of aftercare under the Mental Health Act 1983

Detention under the Mental Health Act 1983

Most individuals who are detained in hospital can appeal their detention to the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health). Individuals who are receiving treatment in the community under the Mental Health Act may also be able to make an appeal. Sometimes a relative of a person who is detained is also able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal.

We can help people detained under many different sections of the Mental Health Act including

  • Sections 2, 3, 7, 17A (CTO)
  • Sections 37, 37/41, 47/49, 48/49, 45A

Amy Butler, Director at Atkins & Palmer, holds a Law Society Accreditation in Mental Health and is therefore able to represent clients at First-tier Tribunal hearings.

Our team can also help with appealing the decision of a First-tier Tribunal to the Upper-tier Tribunal.

We can help you to appeal your detention to the Hospital Managers. We can also attend Care Programme Approach (CPA) meetings with you. Our team can help if you think you are or have been unlawfully detained.

At Atkins & Palmer we regularly travel to psychiatric wards or community mental health centres to see clients. We work with individuals in all treatment settings, including general or acute mental health wards and secure units.

We are experts at advising on the legal framework for mental health treatment in hospital or in the community. Our team can also advise voluntary patients in mental health units.

Mental health treatment in the community

If you have been detained under certain sections of the Mental Health Act 1983 (including section 3 and section 37) you are entitled to aftercare on leaving hospital. This includes individuals who are transferred from prison to hospital for mental health treatment.

When you leave hospital, the local social services authority and relevant health body are under a joint duty to provide you with aftercare services. These are services that are connected to your mental health and that you require to prevent your mental health from deteriorating.

Aftercare should be planned within the Care Programme Approach (CPA) framework. We can attend CPA meetings with clients. We can also help if you think that you are not receiving the right aftercare services.


Atkins & Palmer holds a legal aid contract and we can provide services under the legal aid scheme. We have to carry out an assessment of whether you qualify for legal aid. Our team has to look at the merits of your case. Additionally we sometimes have to assess your financial means. To see whether you may be eligible for legal aid you can check the Legal Aid Agency’s Civil Eligibility Calculator.

If you are detained under the Mental Health Act and you wish to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) you will receive legal aid to do so and we won’t need any information about your finances.

If you are not eligible for legal aid we can also provide services at affordable fixed fees or hourly rates. Whether it is a fixed fee or an hourly rate fee depends on the complexity of the case. We provide an initial free telephone consultation to discuss more about our services and fees.

Contact our mental health team

Email us

Call us

0203 488 3994

Write to us

Unit 19836, PO Box 6945, London, W1A 6US

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