The Act recommends the use of STDC rather than EDC as the preferred psychiatric emergency gateway order.


  • Allows up to 72 hours detention for assessment of mental disorder in a hospital.
  • For the purposes of the EDC form, “consent” requires the physical presence of the MHO and interaction with the patient.
  • Agreement over the telephone that detention seems appropriate should be recorded in Box B of the DET1 form.
  • The application can be made by any fully registered medical practitioner.
  • The detained person has no right of appeal.


  • Allows for up to 28 days detention and for assessment and treatment of mental disorder in a hospital.
  • The application is by an Approved Medical Practitioner (AMP), and the granting of the order requires the consent of a MHO.
  • The detained person has a right of appeal.

Both EDC and STDC:

  • Authorises the transport of the patient to hospital.
  • Admission to hospital can only occur after the certificate has been given to hospital managers.
  • Escort staff must ensure the certificate is lawful before taking the patient into their custody.
  • Hospital managers must also ensure the certificate is lawful to authorise detention in hospital.

Application criteria for EDC must include the criteria outlined in

The certificate must clearly identify the patient and medical practitioner, include date and time of examination, date and time for the completion of the certificate and be signed by the certifying medical practitioner.

The EDC recommendation does not have to be given on a prescribed form; however, it is strongly recommended that the appropriate form (DET 1) is used as this draws attention to the requirements of the Act: all parts of DET 1 should be completed. A copy of the DET 1 can be downloaded from the Scottish Government website:

EDC DET 1 form

An EDC may be used if arranging a STDC would cause an undesirable delay, contrary to the patients best interests.



Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 28/05/2021

Author(s): Julia Ferrari, Joe McGhee, Duncan Westall, William McFadden, Heather Tainsh , Susan Sutherland, Marie White , Anne Cook, Justin McNicholl, Douglas Armstrong, Dr Nabila Muzaffar, Dr Stuart Affleck, Dr David Cumming, Andrew Angus, Jackie Maher, Rose Mills, Vincent Hughes..