What is Section 117 aftercare

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    Mental Health Act - What is Section 117 aftercare?

    Section 117 aftercare is a legal duty that is placed on health and social services to provide after care services for individuals who have been detained under Section 3, Section 37, Section 47, Section 48 and Section 45A.  It is the duty that comes in effect once the person has been discharged from the hospital.

    What is the aim of Section 117 aftercare?

    The aim of Section 117 aftercare is to provide services to prevent further admissions to a hospital.

    Who would arrange Section 117 aftercare?

    Section 117 aftercare is normally arranged by the care co-ordinator however, it is a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency responsibility.  The legal responsibility is with health and social services however, we do also work in partnership with voluntary organisations in order to provide the services that a person needs to prevent further hospital admissions wherever possible.

    How is Section 117 reviewed and can someone be discharged for Section 117?

    Section 117 continues whilst an individual continues to need after care services for their mental health.  It is reviewed by the multi-disciplinary team, usually under the Care Programme Approach.  When it is decided by the health and social service representatives in the partnership with the service user, family or carers that the person is in no longer need of such services then Section 117 will be discharged.

    How does Section 117 work in practice?

    A service user was detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act and upon her discharge we agreed her aftercare needs were to support her with monitoring her medication because at times she would forget to do this and also to support her in getting up in morning to take her two children to school. Her Section 117 aftercare plan was that a support worker would attend her house each morning to support her with getting herself and the children up to go to school, enabling her to undertake her parenting role which she enjoyed and also to monitor her medication to prevent a deterioration in her mental health.