We outline here the steps that are undertaken by the MHC in arranging a mental health tribunal.
The Commission must take certain steps on receipt of an admission or renewal order for a patient. The first is to immediately appoint a legal representative. The next step is to appoint an independent consultant psychiatrist. The Commission then arranges the tribunal
Legal Representative – The legal representative will carry out a number of functions to include, but not limited to, meeting the patient to explain what has happened, any issues of concern and how the tribunal process operates.
Independent Consultant Psychiatrist - The independent consultant psychiatrist will arrange to examine the patient, interview their treating consultant and review their hospital records. They will then provide a report on the patient’s mental health to the tribunal and the patient’s legal representative.
Tribunal arrangements – In order for the tribunal to proceed the Commission:
- arranges a date for the tribunal within 21 days of the making of the order
- appoints the tribunal members once a tribunal date has been arranged
- issues notification of the tribunal date to all relevant people
- makes documents about the patient’s case available to all relevant people available
Before the tribunal takes place, tribunal members and the patient’s legal representative will review all the relevant documents about the patient’s case.
Revocation of orders before the tribunal - The patient may be discharged or become a voluntary patient before their tribunal takes place. If the patient would still like the tribunal to go ahead, the patient or their legal representative should inform the Commission in writing. This must happen within 14 days of the patient’s discharge or of the decision that the patient becomes a voluntary patient. The Commission will then arrange a tribunal.