The law in Northern Ireland

The relevant law in Northern Ireland is the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. This is similar to the Mental Health Act in England and Wales, but there are some differences.

As in England and Wales, a person in Northern Ireland can be detained in hospital to be assessed or treated if they have a ‘mental disorder’ and they are a danger to themselves or others. However, there are some differences around the process and how long they can be detained.

Northern Ireland also has similar rules about guardianship (see the section 'Guardianship'), but again there are some differences in the detail around this.

There is no equivalent in Northern Ireland to Section 117 of the Mental Health Act, which deals with providing aftercare services.

There are also important general differences in the way care is provided and paid for in Northern Ireland compared with England and Wales.

As in England and Wales, the law in Northern Ireland is set to be changed. However there is no confirmed date for when this will happen.

For more information about the law in Northern Ireland see www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/your-rights-health. For help and support contact Law Centre NI (see the next section for details).

Find out more about the way care is provided and paid for in Northern Ireland

Paying for social care can be a concern for many people. Read about the various ways to pay for social care in Northern Ireland, and the amount someone might be expected to pay.

Paying for care in Northern Ireland
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