The patient is at the centre of the process and is encouraged to attend the tribunal.
The patient can speak on their own behalf at the tribunal if they wish. The patient can choose not to attend the tribunal or may be too unwell to do so. In addition to the patient and the tribunal members there are two other people must attend, the patient’s legal representative and their treating psychiatrist.
Legal Representative The patient’s legal representative must attend the tribunal. They will speak on the patient’s behalf at the tribunal and ensure their voice is heard.
Treating psychiatrist The consultant psychiatrist who is providing care and treatment to the patient in the approved centre must attend the tribunal. They will be asked to give evidence at the tribunal, and they must explain why, in their opinion, the patient continues to need care and treatment in the approved centre (as per section 3 of the 2001 Act).
Support Person The patient may bring a support person to a tribunal. This could be a family friend, advocate, trusted person or a staff member working at the approved centre. If the patient wants to bring a support person, they should tell their legal representative before the tribunal who can inform the tribunal. Ultimately, it is a matter for the tribunal to decide if the support person can attend the hearing.
Witnesses The tribunal may ask to speak to people or may be asked to speak to people who are involved in the patient’s care in the approved centre or anyone involved in the admission process. Any witness who speaks at a tribunal can be questioned by the patient or their legal representative. The tribunal decides if a witness should be called to give evidence or not.
Independent consultant psychiatrist Generally, the independent consultant psychiatrist does not attend the tribunal but on occasion may be asked to do so.