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What are my rights on a mental health ward?

Professionals have a responsibility to listen to your views. Where possible, your treatment should be discussed with you and your views should be heard before anyone can decide whether you should have a particular treatment. This does not mean that your care team has to agree with you, but should consider your views.

Your progress and care plan should be reviewed regularly, so that you and your team can decide whether there need to be any changes to your treatment.

You might want to visit Inpatient Care Resources ( which provides additional information.

I’m ready to be discharged but I’ve got nowhere to go.

You shouldn’t have to stay in hospital if you don’t need to. Sometimes there are delays in finding the right place for you to go next. If you are in this situation, you might want to get the help of an advocate or lawyer. You can also contact us at Help at Hand.

How do I get an advocate during or after a hospital stay?

If you want to make a complaint about the NHS treatment you have received, you can ask for the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. This is free to use and not linked to the NHS.

If you are detained in hospital because of your mental health, you are entitled to an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA). An advocate can help advise you on your rights and help you to communicate your needs to your care team.

If you are in hospital and have worries and concerns, for example about how often you are allowed to see your family or the level of support you are getting, you can contact Help at Hand.

Help at Hand is the Children’s Commissioner’s advice and assistance service for children in care, children who have a social worker or are working with social services, children living away from home and care leavers.

Children, young people, or their advocates can get in touch with Help at Hand for free by phone, website or email. 

Phone us free on

0800 528 0731

email us or send us a message via our online form

We are here to help

Before you decide to contact us, you might find the answer to your question is already here in our most frequently asked questions. Pick the option that applies to you for more information.

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