Appeal to the First Tier Tribunals Service Mental Health. Patient information booklet 2. RDaSH. Corporate Services

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1 Appeal to the First Tier Tribunals Service Mental Health Patient information booklet 2 RDaSH Corporate Services

2 If you are detained under one of the sections of the Mental Health Act (or are subject to a Supervised Community Treatment Order or conditional discharge) you have the right to have your detention reviewed by what is called the First Tier Tribunals Service Mental Health. This leaflet aims to guide you through the Tribunals Service process and may also be of interest to your relatives or friends. This leaflet should be read in conjunction with the relevant patients rights leaflet, which will have been issued to you by your named nurse/care coordinator or Mental Health Act administrator. You can get another copy from either of them. If you wish to appeal to the Tribunals Service against the section that you are subject to under the Mental Health Act 1983, please note: You can only appeal once in any period of detention. For patients on Section 2 you must appeal within 14 days of the start of your section. What do I do now? You will need to get an application form from either your named nurse, independent mental health advocate (IMHA), care co-ordinator or the Mental Health Act office. You, your legal representative or your nearest relative may complete the application form, which will be sent on your behalf to the tribunals office in Leicester for processing. 2 Appeal to the Tribunals Service Mental Health

3 What is the Tribunals Service and who are its members? The Tribunals Service is an independent judicial body. Its main purpose is to review the cases of detained, conditionally discharged and supervised community treatment patients under the Mental Health Act. It has the power to discharge any of the patients where it thinks it is appropriate. The members are independent of (they do not work for) the hospital. The panel will usually consist of a member of the legal profession (this is someone who understands the law), a doctor and a lay member (someone who is not a mental health worker). Can I have legal representation? Yes, all patients who appeal to the Tribunals Service have the right to legal representation through legal aid. The Law Society publishes an approved list of solicitors who are qualified to represent patients at tribunal hearings. The list can be obtained from your named nurse, care co-ordinator or from the Mental Health Act office. This service should not cost you any money as it is available via legal aid. What happens next? The Tribunals Service will write to you acknowledging your appeal and will begin the appeal process 3

4 The Mental Health Act administrator will request reports from the clinicians involved in your care: - Doctor - Care co-ordinator and/or - Named nurse The reports will contain information about your circumstances, the circumstances of your admission, your health, the care and treatment you have received and what the plans are for your future care and treatment The Tribunals Service aims to hear appeals for: - Patients detained under Section 2 within seven working days - Patients detained under Section 3 / 37 - within six to eight weeks - Patients subject to SCT within six to eight weeks - Patients on a restriction order - within 12 weeks. The Tribunals Service will write to you giving you details in writing of the date, time and venue of the hearing. Hearings are held in a room on Trust premises Once the date has been set and the reports received, copies of all the reports will be handed to you for you to read in advance of the tribunal hearing If you have chosen to have a solicitor to give you advice, your solicitor will also be given copies of the reports and will discuss these with you before the hearing 4 Appeal to the Tribunals Service Mental Health

5 If you don t have a solicitor, your named nurse, your care co-ordinator or an IMHA will be available to assist you with this process Other people present at the tribunal may include: - Your care co-ordinator / social worker - Your doctor - Your named nurse (if you are an inpatient) - Your nearest relative - Your independent mental health advocate (IMHA) (if you have asked for their support) - Your solicitor (if you have decided to have one). Can I withdraw my appeal? Yes, applications can only be withdrawn in writing and should be backed by a letter from your solicitor. This will be forwarded to the tribunals office and the regional tribunal judge will then decide whether to accept your request to withdraw. Pre-hearing medical examination The doctor who will sit on the tribunal to hear the appeal will need to meet you before the tribunal hearing. He / she will have copies of the reports and will have access to your medical notes. The discussion that you will have with the doctor will be shared with the tribunal panel on the day of the hearing and they will take this into account at the 5

6 hearing when they decide whether you should be discharged from your section. The appointment with the doctor will be arranged with the ward (if you are an inpatient) or via your care co-ordinator (if you are a community patient) so that you can see him / her before the tribunal. The day of the tribunal You will be asked to attend the tribunal hearing with your care co-ordinator, named nurse, doctor and solicitor, if you have one. You can also have a friend, relative or advocate accompany you The panel members will have met and will have read the reports before the start of the tribunal. The tribunal You and the others appearing before the panel will be introduced to the panel members by the Mental Health Act administrator The Chair of the panel will explain the order of the tribunal Your concerns and questions will be dealt with during the hearing The other panel members will also ask questions Throughout the tribunal you will be given every opportunity to challenge things people might say or the written reports you will have read. If you have a solicitor they will help you to do this 6 Appeal to the Tribunals Service Mental Health

7 Once everyone has finished speaking, you and the professionals who have attended the hearing will all be asked to leave the room so that the panel can have a discussion and reach a decision on your appeal. This may take a little time as the panel has to carefully consider all the information provided. We hope this guide has answered some frequently asked questions. However, if there are any issues which have not been covered in this leaflet, in the first instance, please speak to your named nurse who will contact the Mental Health Act office on your behalf. The decision Everyone will be invited back into the tribunal room to be informed of the decision The Chair of the panel will ensure that the decision of the panel is explained to you, your solicitor or IMHA and your named nurse. This will be followed up with written reasons, which will be posted to you a few days later. 7

8 This information is correct at the time of publishing Last Reviewed: January 2014 get approved We are a smokefree organisation DP6334/11547/01.14

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