Seminar: Mental Capacity Act 2005 in Prisons

Wednesday February 17th, 2016, 4 – 5pm.

Department of Psychological Medicine, 3rd Floor Weston Education Centre, Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London.

All are welcome to attend our next Mental Health, Ethics and Law Seminar where Dr Andrew Forrester will be talking about the use of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in Prisons. This seminar forms part of the Mental Health, Ethics and Law Research Group series – a collaboration between the Department of Psychological Medicine, IoPPN, KCL, and the Dickson Poon School of Law, KCL.

Dr Andrew Forrester is a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, HMP Wandsworth & South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and IoPPN. He has extensive experience in offender health and the development of mental health services in prisons. He has published widely on various aspects of prison mental health, including issues in respect of decision-making capacity while detained and fitness to plead.

He will talk about ‘best interests’, and the management of prisoners with mental health problems (including those who lack decision-making capacity for treatment). The Mental Health Act 1983 does not apply in prisons – therefore doctors working in prison settings cannot rely on it to authorise compulsory treatment for mental disorder; instead, the patient/prisoner should be transferred to a secure hospital for treatment under part III of the Mental Health Act 1983. But what happens when there are insufficient resources to enable hospital transfer, when delays prevent timely admission, or when deteriorating untreated mental disorder in prison is associated with extreme behaviour?

If you would like to attend please register by sending an email to  The seminars usually last for around an hour, at which people can leave if needed, and continue for another half hour of discussion with a view to continuing in a local pub afterwards.


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