PI v West London Mental Health NHS Trust [2017] UKUT 66 (AAC), [2017] MHLO 8

"The issue in this appeal was how the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) should react when, during the course of a tribunal hearing, it appeared that the patient no longer had capacity to appoint or instruct his solicitor. The Appellant patient criticised the tribunal for (a) refusing to review his capacity during the hearing and, in particular, after he left the hearing and (b) failing to give adequate reasons for its refusal to review his capacity during the hearing. I have concluded that the tribunal erred in law by failing to give adequate reasons for its decision not to review the patient’s capacity to give instructions to his legal representative during the hearing. However I do not set that decision aside because the patient was neither disadvantaged by either the representation he then received nor by the process the tribunal followed having refused to review his capacity." The Tribunal panel must keep the patient’s capacity in relation to Tribunal rule 11 under review during the hearing, and an appointment may be made for a patient with fluctuating capacity who had previously appointed his own representative.

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