Under section 11(4) of the Mental Health Act 1983 an approved mental health professional is to consult with a patient’s nearest relative before making an application for admission for treatment under section 3. In this case no such consultation had taken place and the patient applied for a writ of habeas corpus following her detention under section 3.

The patient’s nearest relative was her father, against whom she had made serious allegations which had required her to go to live in a women’s refuge. It was argued on behalf of the approved mental health professional that there could have been no consultation with the patient’s father without disclosing the patient’s whereabouts. There were serious concerns that the patient’s allegations against her father were true and on that basis the approved mental health professional had reached the reasonable conclusion that it would not have been practicable to notify the patient’s father.

The application by the patient was refused.  

DP v (1) South Tyneside District Council (2) Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust