The
purpose of guardianship is to enable patients with mental health needs  to receive community care within an
authoritative framework. That framework should provide a minimum of constraint
to allow the patient to achieve as independent a life as possible within the
community, and lessen the risk of hospital re-admission.

The
guardian has the power to require the person subject to the order to reside at
a specified place, to attend specific places at specific times for the purpose
of medical treatment, occupation, education or training, and to give access to
the place where that person resides to any medical practitioner, Approved
Mental Health Professional or other person specified by the guardian.

As such,
with the exception of the power to take and retake a patient to the place they
are required to live, the powers of the guardian are not capable of enforcement
but rely on the co-operation of the patient and can be seen as an effective
community resource and form of aftercare.

Guardianship
can be applied to persons over sixteen years old who have a mental disorder,
and where it is necessary in the interests of the welfare of the person and for
the protection of others.

The guardian can be a local authority or a nominated
private person. Application is made by the nearest relative or an Approved
Mental Health Professional with the support of two medical recommendations. 

The patient must be told about the Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service and can be assisted to access IMHA.

Last Updated: July 11, 2016
If any data is incorrect, please contact us to report it.
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