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Mental Health (Approval Functions) Act 2012

COMMENTARY ON THE SECTIONS

Section 1 - Authorisation of approvals given before this Act

9.Section 1 operates to give any person (which includes a body such as an NHS trust or NHS foundation trust) retrospective power under the Mental Health Act 1983 to approve a registered medical practitioner for the purposes of section 12 and to approve a clinician under section 145, where the approval was given before the Mental Health (Approval Functions) Act 2012 obtained Royal Assent. This means that bodies to which an SHA had no power to delegate these approval functions will be treated as if they had always had the power to give approvals for the purposes of section 12 and to approve persons as approved clinicians under section 145. The Act only has effect in relation to any approval given before Royal Assent (and so does not affect what SHAs or any other bodies can do in the future).

Section 2 - Commencement, extent and short title

10.Subsection (1) provides for the Act to come into force on Royal Assent. The Act operates only on approvals given before this date.

11.Subsection (2) provides for the Act to extend to the whole of the United Kingdom. Although the approvals to which section 1 relates were given in cases involving patients in England or Wales, it is possible that a patient detained in England or Wales might be transferred to Scotland or Northern Ireland for detention there. By providing that the retrospective validation extends to Scotland and Northern Ireland, the Act removes any doubt about the validity of the detention in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

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