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Where a patient is subject to the Mental Health Act 1983 for over three months, they have the right to a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor who will confirm a patient’s capacity to consent to treatment, and review whether continuing medication is necessary.
Patients subject to the Act can also access Independent Mental Health Advocates who provide support to patients to exercise their rights and ensure they can participate in the decisions that are made about their care and treatment.
Patients also have the right to appeal to an independent tribunal, which has the power to discharge patients from their detention under the Act.
For mental health patients not detained under the Mental Health Act, there is no legal right to a second opinion. However, as standard clinical practice National Health Service trusts will have arrangements in place for second opinion requests.