The identification and rights of the “Nearest Relative” under the Mental Health Act 1983

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission
Date of publication
1 November 2011
Mental health services, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Under the Mental Health Act 1983 (Section 26), the Nearest Relative of a patient has specific rights with regard to the treatment of that patient. The Hospital Managers are required to ensure that patients and their Nearest Relatives are given full details of their rights and responsibilities, and ward staff should be able to arrange for any questions on the role to be addressed. This guidance note is designed to provide service user, carers and relatives of basic information on the identification of “nearest relatives” under the the Mental Health Act 1983, and the rights of such persons once identified.

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