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This Code of Practice is a reference tool for those dealing with, and caring for people admitted to hospital and care homes with mental health problems. Authored by the Department of Health and produced following wide consultation with those who provide and receive services under the Mental Health Act, this publication will come into force on 3 November 2008. Through the Mental Health Act 2007, the Government has updated the 1983 Act to ensure it keeps pace with the changes in the way that mental health services are - and need to be - delivered. This publication provides guidance and advice to registered medical practitioners, approved clinicians, managers and staff of hospitals, and approved mental health professionals on how they should proceed when undertaking duties under the Act. It also gives guidance to doctors and other professionals about certain aspects of medical treatment for mental disorder more generally. The Mental Health Act Code of Practice is also aimed at all of those working in primary care, Mental Health Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts as well as solicitors and attorneys who advise on mental health law. The Code should also be beneficial to the police and ambulance services and others in health and social services (including the independent and voluntary sectors) involved in providing services to people who are, or may become, subject to compulsory measures under the Act. It will also be a guide for those working with people with specific mental health needs such as those in nursing and care homes, and those in prison.