Second opinion appointed doctors (SOADs)

Page last updated: 29 July 2022
Organisations we regulate

The second opinion appointed doctor (SOAD) service safeguards the rights of patients detained under the Mental Health Act who either refuse the treatment prescribed to them or are deemed incapable of consenting.

The role of the SOAD is to decide whether the treatment recommended is clinically defensible and whether due consideration has been given to the views and rights of the patient.

We are responsible for the appointment of SOADs and manage the SOAD service. We receive around 16,000 requests for second opinions every year.

Request a second opinion

Providers with 100 locations or less must use the provider portal to request second opinions. It's the quickest and easiest way to send us forms.

Providers with more than 100 locations

If you are a provider with more than 100 locations you can request a second opinion by completing the following form. Forms filled in inaccurately may lead to delays in appointing SOADs or your application being returned.”

Get help with the form


Is there a way to save and exit a second opinion form before completing it and then start a new different second opinion form?


Yes, if you need to leave a form part way through you can save and exit this and retain the generated link to access that form. If you then need to create and submit a different new second opinion form you can use the following link to access a new blank form.


Is there a way the responsible clinician can complete the information required for the form and then return it to the MHA Administrator who can then check and submit the form?


Yes. Click the "Save and Exit" button once you reach the printable page. This will give the URL which can be copied into the browser to either complete the form later or to email the link to another address.


Can the confirmation receipt be emailed to someone other than the person completing the form?


Yes. When completing the form a question will appear which asks if you are the person responsible for co-ordinating the visit. Click "No" and a prompt will appear to include the contact information for the person who is co-ordinating the visit. Both parties will receive a confirmation email once the request is submitted.

Alternatively, if the person completing the request does not require a confirmation email they can insert the email address of the person who does require confirmation, into their contact details instead of their own address.


If a copy of the completed form is required, always remember to print this off before submission as once the form has been submitted you will not be able to retrieve a copy.

Guidance for completing the form is also contained within it where the questions are not self-explanatory.

Apply to become a SOAD

We are running open recruitment for Consultant Psychiatrists with at least 5 years experience to join our panel of doctors who can undertake second opinions. If you would like to register an interest, learn more about the role or request an application pack please email

SOADs appointed by CQC may only work in England. For information about how to apply to become a SOAD in Wales please contact Health Inspectorate Wales.