Statutory guidance

Code of practice: Mental Health Act 1983

Shows professionals how to carry out their responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983, and provide high quality and safe care.

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As well as providing guidance for professionals, the revised code of practice also guides patients, their families and carers on their rights.

The code was revised to take account of stakeholders’ views during our consultation, and reflects changes in legislation, case law, policy and professional practice since its last revision in 2008. The response to the consultation was published on 15 January 2015.

The easy-read version covers the same chapters that were covered in the easy-read consultation document.

The code of practice is effective from 1 April 2015. It has been prepared in accordance with section 118 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Further guidance on implementing changes to police powers and places of safety provisions in the act was published in October 2017.

Printed copies of the code of practice are available from The Stationery Office

Published 15 January 2015
Last updated 31 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated description to add link to guidance on implementing changes to police powers and places of safety provisions.
  2. Added an easy read version of the Code of Practice
  3. First published.