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Mental Health Law Online

The internet resource on mental health law, and mental capacity law, for England & Wales. You can read a review of the site here.

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Recent updates

  • 27/03/20: Guidance to psychiatrists about remote hearings. Mental Health Tribunal, 'Message to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' (Sarah Johnston and Joan Rutherford, 26/3/20) — (1) This guidance to psychiatrists includes the following: all evidence will be taken before a tribunal judge alone, using BT MeetMe (phone or video); the doctor giving evidence will released after giving evidence except in all but exceptional cases; the patient will not be given the decision orally. (2) To help the tribunal, clinical teams should: (a) submit s2 reports the day before the hearing (to avoid delays); (b) advise the tribunal judge if the patient will be unable to stay in the room or should give evidence first; (c) tell the tribunal judge whether the patient can remain as a voluntary patient (which is no longer possible in many areas); (d) emphasise any limitations of the evidence (for instance if the patient has recently been moved between "clean" and "dirty" coronavirus wards); (e) focus on the statutory criteria; (f) suggest delayed discharge for follow-up to be arranged; (g) give evidence from a private area. (3) The tribunal are encouraging wing members to return to clinical work, and are looking at formats for shorter reports.
  • 27/03/20: Summary of Coronavirus Act 2000. Hill Dickinson LLP, 'Coronavirus Act - key facts' (26/3/20) — This detailed summary of the Coronavirus Act 2020 contains the following headings: (1) Emergency registration of health and social care professionals; (2) Suspension of duties to undertake assessments of need/discharge of patients from hospital; (3) Deaths and inquests; (4) Indemnity for health service activity; (5) Powers in relation to potentially infectious persons; (6) Children; (7) Offences; (8) Impact on NHS employers; (9) Emergency volunteering leave; (10) Statutory sick pay; (11) Changes to the Mental Health Act 1983: (a) Applications for detention under section 2 and section 3; (b) Holding powers; (c) Treatment - administration of medicine to persons liable to detention in hospital; (d) Detention in place of safety; (e) Patients concerned with the criminal justice system.
  • 25/03/20: Legislation. Coronavirus Act 2020 — This Act, among other things, amends the MHA 1983 in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The Act is in force on 25/3/20, although s10 and schedules 8-11 (amendments to the MHA and NI/Scottish equivalents) will commence on a date to be specified in regulations.

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