LB v BMH [2017] MHLO 10 (UT)

"The First-tier Tribunal decided that the patient should not be discharged from liability to be detained and to make no recommendation pursuant to section 72(3) and (3A) of the 1983 Act. Paragraph 19 of its written decision recorded the following: 'The solicitor representing the patient sought an adjournment as she had concerns about the quality of the evidence regarding the patient's clinical treatment in the past. We have some sympathy with the view that the patient's treatment history is incomplete. A summary of the previous treatments should be available to the panel wherever possible. However, the recent treatment history during the in-patient admission at [this hospital] was available to the panel. There was ample evidence before the panel that the patient is floridly psychotic and in our view the evidence satisfied the criteria for detention. We refused the request for an adjournment.' ... The grounds of appeal argue that the reports before the First-tier Tribunal gave very little information about the patient' s previous placement, nor about the reasons for the transfer, nor about any previous trials with clozapine. The application for an adjournment was made with a view to persuading the First-tier Tribunal to recommend a transfer under section 72(3), which was not possible without further information. This was especially important because the First-tier Tribunal proceedings were by way of reference and the patient was unlikely to appeal himself 'and may remain inappropriately placed for a further three years'. I agree with these grounds and also note that the application to adjourn was not made by or on the instructions of the patient but by an experienced specialist solicitor who had herself been appointed by the tribunal and felt that there was inadequate evidence before the tribunal (which, to an extent, the tribunal itself acknowledged). ... [T]he refusal to adjourn amounted to a breach of the rules of natural justice and fair procedure and for these reasons this appeal is allowed."

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Transcript. Provided by Karen Wolton of Wolton & Co Solicitors