Consultation outcome

Review of the operation of Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

Reports the findings of the review, and describes the recommendations.

Feedback received

Summary of responses from public consultation

The views of professionals, service users and carers

Detail of feedback received

In this section you can read responses received to the open consultation, and also the findings of interviews conducted with professionals in mental health, service users and their carers.

You can also read the results of the literature review.

Original consultation


Review of the operation of Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The government is reviewing the operation of Sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales to make sure that the legislative framework offers the right support for people at the right time. These parts of the legislation give the police powers to temporarily remove people who appear to be suffering from a mental disorder and who need urgent care to a ‘place of safety’, so that a mental health assessment can be carried out and appropriate arrangements made for their care.

A place of safety in the majority of cases is a hospital, but sometimes police stations are used. However, there have been questions over whether a police station is an appropriate place to detain people suffering a mental health crisis, especially young people, and whether the maximum length of detention under Sections 135 and 136 (72 hours) is too long. This review will examine the evidence to determine whether or not changes to the primary legislation would improve outcomes for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

This survey is one way in which we are gathering evidence for the review. The results will inform the review alongside other activity such as focus groups with people who have experienced being detained under these parts of the Mental Health Act 1983, and their families, friends and carers, and practitioner workshops with the police, approved mental health professionals, health professionals and others.

The relevant legislation and codes of practice can be found below:

Section 135

Section 136

Code of Practice for the Mental Health Act 1983 in England

Code of Practice for the Mental Health Act 1983 in Wales

Welsh Government guidance on sections 135 and 136

How to respond

Please send us your comments by using our online form.

Or write to:

Review of S135 and S136 Project Team,
Mental Health
Disability and Equality Division
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall

Enquiries or requests for Braille, large font or audio format should be addressed to the contact details above or email A Welsh version of the PDF is available on request.

Following the close of the survey, all responses from the survey and other evidence gathered through focus groups, practitioner workshops, current data and published literature will be analysed. We will publish a summary of the responses later in 2014.


Review of the operation of Sections 135 and 136

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Published 8 April 2014