Unauthorised absence – notification form

Page last updated: 12 May 2022
Organisations we regulate

When and how to tell us about an unauthorised absence of a detained mental health patient.

How to notify us

If you have an account with the CQC Provider Portal, you can send us your notification online.

Notify us online

If you do not have access to the Provider Portal, you can notify us by filling in a form and emailing it to MH_notifications@cqc.org.uk.

Use part 1 of the form to tell us about an absence, and part 2 to tell us about a return from absence. You can submit part 1 and part 2 separately where needed.

Mental Health Act notification: Absent without leave (AWOL)

When you need to tell us about an unauthorised absence

You must tell us about:

  • an unauthorised absence of a person detained (or liable to be detained) under the Mental Health Act 1983 from a service designated as low, medium or high security
  • when someone returns from an unauthorised absence

Services with no specific security designation do not need to tell us about unauthorised absences.