§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance is issued to health authorities and trusts with regard to involving the police in returning to hospitals patients subject to compulsory detention under the Mental Health Act 1983 who have absconded.
§ Mr. Dorrell
The code of practice issued under the Mental Health Act 1983 states (at paragraph 21.4) that the hospital should always inform the police if a dangerous or restricted patient absconds. Section 18 of the Act also authorises police officers to detain such patients and return them to hospital.