There are different outcomes to a mental health tribunal. We outline here what can happen after a tribunal has taken place.
Overview If the tribunal affirms the order the patient stays in the approved centre.
If the tribunal revokes the order the patient is free to leave the approved centre. The patient may wish to stay in the approved centre as a voluntary patient and this can be discussed their care team.
Circuit Court Appeals (section 19 of the 2001 Act)
If a tribunal affirms an order, a patient can appeal the decision of a tribunal to the Circuit Court on the basis that they are no longer suffering from a mental disorder. However, the appeal does not consider the decision of the tribunal. The Circuit Court considers the issue of mental disorder as of the date of the appeal.
The patient must make the appeal within 14 days of the tribunal’s decision. The patient’s legal representative can assist the patient with this. Legal aid is also provided for these appeals.
How long does an involuntary patient stay in the approved centre?
When an admission order, that has been affirmed by a tribunal, ends, a patient can only continue to be detained if the patient’s treating psychiatrist believes they still have a mental disorder. The treating psychiatrist will have to make a renewal order, which cannot last longer than three months (but can be for a shorter period). This order will also be reviewed by a tribunal within 21 days.
If after three months, the patient’s treating consultant still believes the patient has a mental disorder, they can make another renewal order. This type of renewal order cannot last for longer than six months (but can be for a shorter period). This order will also be reviewed by a tribunal within 21 days.
This process can continue until the patient’s treating psychiatrist thinks they are well enough to be discharged. The Commission shall ensure that each order is reviewed by an independent tribunal and that a patient is entitled to appeal each decision of a tribunal to the Circuit Court.
An additional review means an extra tribunal to review the patient’s case. A patient can only request an additional review if they are detained by a renewal order that is for a period greater than three months and up to a maximum of six months. If they are detained in the approved centre three months after that order is made, the patient can ask to have the order / the detention reviewed again by a different tribunal.
The patient must be involuntarily detained to request an additional review.
The Commission can only organise an additional review if they are requested to do so. It is not done automatically like all of the other tribunals. The patient or their legal representative must make this request.