October 2020 update
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- Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. The main idea is to add the hospitals and other places you visit (not just your own place of work). To create/edit contacts, there is no need to log in and the process is very quick and simple. See Magic Book
- Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.
- Cases. By the end of this month, Mental Health Law Online contained 2092 categorised cases
- Chronology. See October 2020 chronology for this month's changes to the website in date order.
- Case (Condition removed from conditional discharge). Re E  MHLO 52 (FTT) — The tribunal added a condition to the written reasons which was not stated at the hearing: "Abide by the rules applicable to such accommodation in particular to sleep there every night and not to have overnight guests." There had been a clear error of law and the condition was removed: (a) the tribunal had failed to address in its decision why it had made the conditions it made; (b) it was required to provide a brief explanation; (c) it was also required to announce the conditions that the patient was subject to in exact terms, which was crucial given that the patient was being conditionally discharged immediately." [First-tier Tribunal decisions are useful not not binding.]
- Case (Video tribunal hearing set aside). Re D  MHLO 51 (FTT) — (1) The decision in this case was set aside because it was not clear whether or not the patient had a reasonable opportunity to hear all the evidence that was given at the hearing: it was not possible to be sure that the patient had a fair hearing. (2) The patient's microphone had been muted for much of the time after giving her evidence at the outset because she "would not stop talking", but this did not amount to exclusion under Tribunal rule 38. [First-tier tribunal decisions are useful but not binding.]
- Case (Deprivation of liberty during conditional discharge). Birmingham City Council v SR  EWCOP 28 — (1) Both patients supported but lacked capacity in relation to the proposed care plans, which involved deprivation of liberty concurrently with a conditional discharge, and those plans were in their best interests. (2) Obiter, the division in the MOJ's post-MM guidance (MCA DOL for incapacitous patients whose risk is to themselves, but MHA s17 leave for incapacitous patients whose risk is to others and for capacitous patients) did not withstand scrutiny as it is in patients' best interests to be kept "out of mischief" and therefore out of psychiatric hospital.
- Legislation. Mental Health (Hospital, Guardianship and Treatment) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 — These Regulations amend Mental Health (Hospital, Guardianship and Treatment) (England) Regulations 2008 to provide for the service of documents by electronic communication.
- Legislation. Coronavirus Act 2020 (Expiry of Mental Health Provisions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 — When in force, this draft legislation will expire most of the mental health amendments in sch 8 Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to England, and some in relation to Wales. None of the expired provisions had commenced. Some amendments will continue in Wales (mainly those relating to the MHRT) and transitional provisions will remain in force in both countries.
- Mental capacity law newsletter. 39 Essex Chambers, 'Mental Capacity Report' (issue 108, October 2020) — "Highlights this month include: (1) In the Health, Welfare and Deprivation of Liberty Report: updated DHSC MCA/DoLS COVID-19 guidance, the CRPD in the Court of Protection and spotting the signs of abuse; (2) In the Property and Affairs Report: two important cases about deputies and fixed costs and how to get financial deputyship applications right; (3) In the Practice and Procedure Report: s.21A applications and interim declarations; the limits of the court’s jurisdiction; contempt proceedings and when not to recognise a foreign order; (4) In the Wider Context Report: new GMC consent guidance, Sir James Munby returns to the inherent jurisdiction, new CQC publications and relevant ECHR developments; (5) In the Scotland Report: a new Chief Executive for the Mental Welfare Commission, MWC publications, and what COVID-19 has revealed about ageism and disability discrimination."
- DOLS case law summaries. Aasya Mughal and Steven Richards, 'Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - case law summary' (October 2020 edition, 22/10/20) — This four-page document summarises selected domestic and European caselaw on deprivation of liberty.
- Social distancing and mental capacity. Sian Davies et al, 'Rapid response guidance note: COVID-19, social distancing and mental capacity' (39 Essex Chambers, 6/10/20) — "This guidance note provides an overview of the framework within which decisions need to be taken in England relating to social distancing and self-isolation in the context of those with impaired decision-making capacity, including about considerations of deprivation of liberty."
- Sentencing proposals. Ministry of Justice, 'A Smarter Approach to Sentencing' (CP 292, 16/9/20) — This document mentions mental health several times, in particular in relation to Community Sentence Treatment Requirements.
- MHLO forum launched. An online forum is now available: see the forum itself for full details and to get involved.
- Event. Edge Training: Level 3 Safeguarding Adults (online, 1-2 Feb 2021) — A single training course delivered in two sessions via live webinar. This Level 3 Safeguarding Adults webinar offers delegates the opportunity to explore the legal framework, which underpins safeguarding adults work, and to explore the key challenges that may arise in practice. It will guide the delegates through the safeguarding adults process and focus on making safeguarding personal. Speaker: Dawn Revell. Cost: £150 plus VAT. See Edge website for further details and booking information.
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