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Drilldown: Resources

See also: General information. A summary of the coronavirus resources can be found here: Coronavirus resources.

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Resources > Type : CQC guidance or Tribunal guidance

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Resource Type Sentence Abstract Date
CQC, 'CQC has made changes to Mental Health Act complaints process' (11/5/20) CQC guidance Coronavirus resource

Complaints procedure

The CQC are prioritising MHA complaints from or about currently-detained patients; other complaints "will be reviewed, but may be paused during the coronavirus outbreak".

2020-05-11
CQC, 'Use of the Mental Health Act 1983 in general hospitals without a psychiatric unit' (April 2010) CQC guidance

Use of MHA in general hospitals

Apparently this guidance document has been "withdrawn".

April 2010
HMCTS et al, 'Mental Health Tribunal: An Easy Read Guide' (22/7/20) Tribunal guidance

Tribunal guidance for patients

"This document will help explain what you can expect if you attend a face-to-face Mental Health Tribunal hearing."

2020-07-22
HMCTS et al, 'Mental Health Virtual Tribunal: An Easy Read Guide' (22/7/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Tribunal guidance for patients

"This document will help explain what you can expect if you attend a virtual Mental Health Tribunal hearing."

2020-07-22
HMCTS, 'HMCTS telephone and video hearings during coronavirus outbreak' (18/3/20) CQC guidance Coronavirus resource

Telephone and video hearing coronavirus guidance

This guidance on telephone and video technology has information under the following headings: (1) The decision to use telephone and video hearings; (2) Using existing technology and making new technology available; (3) The rules on using video and audio technology in courts; (4) Proposed legislation

2020-03-18
HMCTS, 'How to join telephone and video hearings during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' (8/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Remote hearing guidance for users

"Use this guide if you’ve been asked to join a hearing by telephone or video using BT MeetMe, Skype for Business or Cloud Video Platform (CVP) during the coronavirus outbreak."

2020-04-08
HMCTS, 'Minimum requirements for tribunal hearings to be held in hospitals' (11/4/18) Tribunal guidance

Requirements imposed on hospitals

This document states that "[a] hearing room is as essential to a psychiatric hospital as an operating theatre is to a surgical hospital" and that if hospitals do not adhere to the minimum requirements or obtain a written exemption then the tribunal "may consider holding its judicial hearings elsewhere". The main headings are (1) Minimum standards of safety and security, and (2) Minimum requirements for facilities and amenities.

2018-04-11
Mark Hinchliffe and Zoe Blake, 'Letter to all Hospitals regarding our Minimum Requirements' (11/4/18) Tribunal guidance

Covering letter for minimum requirements guidance

This is a covering letter for HMCTS, 'Minimum requirements for tribunal hearings to be held in hospitals' (11/4/18).

2018-04-11
Martin Jones, 'Guidance to members' (Parole Board, 20/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Parole Board coronavirus guidance

The guidance from the PB CEO's Twitter account is: (1) The Parole Board is considering changes to guidance, so that fewer cases are directed to oral hearing. (2) The views of the prisoner or representative will be sought but the decision on whether an oral hearing is needed lies with the panel chairman. (3) At oral hearings, panel members, legal representatives, witnesses and victims may be allowed to undertake video/telephone links from home to try to avoid delay to hearings. (4) If one panel member cannot attend owing to coronavirus then the hearing should proceed wherever possible. (5) More cases will be concluded by a single panel member. See also: Parole Board, 'Further guidance to members' (1/4/20)

2020-03-20
Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, 'Covid-19 Outbreak - Important Update' (19/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Scottish MHT's coronavirus guidance

The MHTS intends to hold all hearings by teleconference from Monday 23/3/20. The update details how this will work in practice, including assisting patients to participate in proceedings.

2020-03-19
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Direction for disclosure of medical records to legal representatives in all cases for the duration of the Pilot Practice Direction' (25/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Automatic disclosure of medical records

Owing to the fact that representatives cannot arrange for patients to sign consent forms, this direction requires the responsible authority: (1) to allow immediate access to the patient's medical and nursing notes upon receipt of the CNL1 form containing the representative's name; (2) to email without delay any notes specified by the representative; and (3) to highlight any information in the notes not to be disclosed to the patient (the representative must not disclose this information without further order of the tribunal).

2020-03-25
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Ensuring patients can access justice' (Sarah Johnston DCP, 22/5/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT remote hearings

This article on the Judiciary website explains the adoption of remote hearing procedures by the MHT.

2020-05-22
Mental Health Tribunal, 'First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health) update' (2/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT telephone hearing guidance

Information in this update includes: (1) all face to face hearings will be changed to telephone hearings for the foreseeable future; (2) the telephone attendee form, including the patient's number, is required 6 days before the hearing (24 hours for s2); (3) at the hearing the tribunal judge will telephone the patient with an invitation to join the call.

2020-04-02
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Further update on coronavirus situation' (1/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT update including listing

(1) All hearings have been postponed for certain community patients (CTO and conditional discharge), unless they have already been listed for paper review, until the revocation of the coronavirus pilot PD, or earlier if the tribunal directs. (The original summary here wrongly said "all community patients" - apologies.) (2) Section 2, conditional discharge recall, and CAMHS cases are the priority for listing; other cases were not being listed, but s3 and restricted cases should now begin to be listed. (3) Representatives are requested not to call the tribunal unless absolutely necessary, and to seek directions for late reports.

2020-04-01
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber (mental health jurisdiction)' (10/1/19) Tribunal guidance

Observation guidance

This guidance supersedes Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings' (5/11/09), the main difference being that it is no longer necessary for observation requests by solicitors, barrister, nurses, doctors, social workers etc to be made in advance to the Deputy Chamber President.

2019-01-10
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings' (5/11/09) Tribunal guidance

Observation guidance

This guidance has been superseded by Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber (mental health jurisdiction)' (10/1/19). It deals with the various categories of observers and the terms on which they may be permitted to attend tribunal hearings.

2009-11-05
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Help for users' (15/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT guidance for patients

This guidance explains that hearings will be heard via telephone/video, by a tribunal judge alone ("because we have less support because of the coronavirus"), there will be no medical examination (because "people cannot meet together"), and community hearings will not take place ("because of the difficulties we have in organising hearings here everyone can participate" - unless the patient or representative explains "why your case must go ahead").

2020-04-15
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Important Information about your Mental Health Tribunal Hearing for CAMHS patients' (27/5/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT remote hearing CAMHS guidance

This document explains remote hearings in simple language.

2020-05-27
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Message from the Deputy Chamber President' (2/4/20) Tribunal guidance

MHT coronavirus update

This message includes the following information: (1) the tribunal is prioritising urgent hearings; (2) the administration should only be contacted if necessary; (3) the tribunal cannot currently make directions for reports.

2020-04-02
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Message to the Royal College of Psychiatrists' (Sarah Johnston and Joan Rutherford, 26/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Guidance to psychiatrists about remote hearings

(1) This guidance to psychiatrists includes the following: all evidence will be taken before a tribunal judge alone, using phone (BT MeetMe) 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.

2020-03-26
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Order and directions for all community patients who are subject to a CTO or conditional discharge and who have applied or been referred to the tribunal for the duration of the Pilot Practice Direction' (26/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Hearing postponement for certain community patients

(1) The hearings of certain community patients will be postponed, unless they have already been listed for paper review. (2) It applies to patients “over 18” (this is meant to mean 18 or over) presumably at the time of the application or reference. (3) The following will be postponed: (a) applications by CTO patients (s66(1)); (b) applications by conditionally-discharged (C/D) patients (s75(2)); (c) periodic mandatory references in the cases of CTO patients (s68(2) and s68(6)). (4) The following will not be postponed: (a) discretionary references for CTO patients (s67(1)); (b) discretionary references for C/D patients (s71(1)); (c) revocation references for CTO patients (s68(7)); (d) recall references for C/D patients (s75(1)). (5) The order purports to postpone periodic mandatory references for C/D patients (s71(2)) but these references are only made for a "restricted patient detained in a hospital". (6) The hearings will take place on the first convenient date after revocation of the Pilot Practice Direction, or earlier if the tribunal orders (the parties are to agree a new listing window after revocation and apply for a new date). (7) All parties are at liberty to apply to vary the order and directions in exceptional cases. (8) The reason given for the order is that (a) it is "not feasible or practicable for a community patient under the government's 'stay at home' policy to attempt to participate in a hearing"; (b) cases where the patient is deprived of his liberty are being prioritised for listing; (c) postponement is proportionate to the "extreme demands being placed on health, social care and justice services by the pandemic"; (d) the case will be relisted as soon as practicable "having regard to any temporary regulations or other priorities that may prevail during the coronavirus emergency".

2020-03-26
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Order and directions for listing of community hearings' (6/5/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Community hearings are now being listed

These cases had been postponed on 26/3/20 but now will be listed for hearing because the tribunal "has now achieved a level of administrative support to be able to list cases for community patients". The order and directions set out the duties on patients' representatives and responsible authorities in relation to reports, consideration of paper hearings, agreed hearing dates, and remote hearing practicalities.

2020-05-06
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Update on coronavirus situation' (18/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT coronavirus guidance

The position set out in this guidance is that: (1) hearings will continue as planned; (2) hearings require all three panel members, but this may change as part of the contingency plan being prepared; (3) requests to give evidence via telephone should be sent to the mhtcorrespondence email address; (4) hearings are being arranged as telephone conferences when hospitals are in lock-down; (5) listing window extension requests should be submitted to mhtcasemanagementrequests, but extended windows may be part of the contingency plan; (6) the tribunal is pushing for greater provision for paper hearings; (7) pre-hearing medical examinations are continuing, subject to the circumstances of each case, but these could cease if all hearings become telephone reviews. Largely superseded by: Tribunals Judiciary, 'Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Mental Health jurisdiction' (Coronavirus, 19/3/20).

2020-03-18
Mental Health Tribunal, 'Video Conference Hearings' (6/4/20) Letter Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT video hearings

From 13/4/20 all cases will be listed as video hearings using the Common Video Platform (CVP), instead of telephone hearings. Telephone hearings had taken longer and made communication more difficult, and it is hoped that video hearings will be an improvement.

2020-04-06
Parole Board, 'Further guidance to members' (1/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Parole Board guidance

(1) A panel can now make these decisions at MCA (Member Case Assessment): (a) to release or recommend transfer to open conditions in appropriate cases on the papers; (b) to refuse release or decline transfer to open conditions in appropriate cases on the papers; (c) to direct a case to an oral hearing. (2) Members have the option to expand the panel if they wish. (3) The guidance includes factors to consider when deciding whether an oral hearing is needed.

2020-04-01
Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangements in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Tribunal coronavirus Practice Direction

During the pilot period, initially six months: (1) decisions should usually be made without a hearing where the rules permit [MHT: rule 35 limits this to Part 5 and strike-out decisions, and certain CTO referrals]; (2) in jurisdictions where a hearing is required unless the parties consent to a determination on the papers [MHT: certain CTO referral cases] Chamber Presidents may allow a paper "triage" scheme in which provisional decisions are provided in cases in which a successful outcome for the applicant/appellant is likely; (3) all hearings should be held remotely where it is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the overriding objective [MHT: rule 1 states that hearings may be "conducted in whole or in part by video link, telephone or other means of instantaneous two-way electronic communication"]; (4) where permitted, hearings will proceed in the absence of parties who have not made an adjournment/postponement application [MHT: a requirement of rule 39 is that the patient has decided not to attend or is unable to attend for reasons of ill health]; (5) tribunals will take into account the impact of the pandemic when considering applications for extension of time for compliance with directions or the postponement of hearings. [Notes in square brackets are not part of the PD itself.]

2020-03-19
Pilot Practice Direction: Health, Education and Social Care Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal (Mental Health) (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Mental Health Tribunal coronavirus Practice Direction

For the pilot period, initially six months: (1) every decision, including those that dispose of proceedings, will be made by a judge alone, unless the CP, DCP or authorised salaried judge appoints two or three people; (2) the tribunal will suggest that CTO reference hearings are dealt with on the papers under rule 35; (3) it will not be "practicable" under rule 34 for any pre-hearing medical examinations to take place during the pandemic (no mention is made of video or telephone conferencing); (4) panels of one of two may seek the advice of one or more non-legal members to assist in decision-making, provided the advice is recoded and disclosed to the parties.

2020-03-19
Pilot Practice Direction: Panel Composition in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Coronavirus tribunal composition (non-MH)

This PD applies to all appeals and applications within the First-tier and Upper Tribunal, except in mental health cases. For the duration of the pilot period, initially six months: (1) a salaried tribunal judge may decide, having regard to urgency among other matters, may depart from the usual rules on panel composition; (2) in such cases, the tribunal may seek the advice of one or more non-legal members to assist with its decision-making, provided the advice is recorded and disclosed to the parties.

2020-03-19
Pilot Practice Direction: The use of former Salaried Judges (26/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Former STJs treated as current

Former Salaried Tribunal Judges are to be interpreted as falling within the definition of salaried judges for the purposes of the coronavirus "Contingency Arrangements" pilot PD.

2020-03-26
Pilot Practice Direction: Video/Audio Hearings in the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal (2/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Public/private hearings and access to recordings

(1) In Senior President of Tribunals, 'Judges' and Members' Administrative Instruction No 4' (14/4/20) it is stated that following the Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 amendments there is no need to refer to this PD. (2) This PD, which applies to the FTT and UT, states that (paraphrased): (a) where it is not practicable to broadcast a remote hearing in a court or tribunal building, the tribunal may direct that the hearing will take place in private; (b) where a media representative is able to access proceedings remotely then the hearing is a public hearing; (c) any such private hearing must be recorded if practicable, and the tribunal may consent to any person accessing that recording. (3) None of these changes will have any impact on normal MHT hearings, which are private by default rather than because of this PD; also, the related changes to the HESC rules made by Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 were inserted into the part of those rules which do not apply to mental health cases.

2020-04-02
Practice Direction: MHRT for Wales: Coronavirus COVID-19 (30/3/20) Tribunal guidance

Welsh tribunal coronavirus PD

This practice direction sets out the procedure for a period of 6 months. (1) During the pandemic, preliminary medical examinations will not be "practicable" owing to health risk. (2) Hearings will be held by telephone or video, unless dispensed with entirely (when a hearing would be impractical or involve undesirable delay, sufficient evidence is available to decide without a hearing, and this would not be detrimental to the health of the patient). (3) Tribunals will continue ordinarily to comprise three members, unless this is impractical or would involve undesirable delay, in which case a legal member may sit alone or with one other member.

2020-03-30
Practice Direction: Statements and reports for MHRTs in Wales (October 2019) Tribunal guidance

Welsh tribunal report PD

This practice direction, which is based on and is similar to the English 2013 equivalent, sets out what is required of tribunal reports.

October 2019
RCPsych and Tribunals Judiciary, 'A Guide to Mental Health Tribunals for Young People' (11/2/16) Tribunal guidance

MHT guidance for young people

This document contains a simplified description of the tribunal process for civil sections.

2016-02-11
Senior President of Tribunals, 'Guidance for tribunal judges and members - COVID-19 measures' (23/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Tribunal coronavirus hygiene guidance

This guidance covers matters such as 2m separation and hand washing.

2020-03-23
Senior President of Tribunals, 'Judges' and Members' Administrative Instruction No 4' (14/4/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

Further coronavirus guidance

This guidance refers to: (1) the Mental Health Tribunal, 'Help for users' (15/4/20) document; (2) the rule changes in Tribunal Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020 (paper hearings, s2 timeframes, and public/private hearings); (3) plans for further or intermittent lockdown, the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, and both the return of existing business and new business; (4) paper case files; (5) some other matters irrelevant to mental health.

2020-04-14
Tribunals Judiciary, 'Guidance from the Chamber President and Deputy Chamber President of HESC regarding the Mental Health jurisdiction' (Coronavirus, 19/3/20) Tribunal guidance Coronavirus resource

MHT coronavirus telecon procedure

The following procedure will apply to hearings from Monday 23/3/20: (1) section 2 and conditional discharge recall hearings will be prioritised; (2) no pre-hearing examinations will take place; (3) new cases will be listed as a telephone conference before a single judge; (4) the judge can seek advice by telephone from that day's allocated medical or lay member, then repeat that advice in the telecon and allow submissions; (5) it is suggested that an unrepresented patient be allowed to speak to the judge without others in the room; (6) it is suggested that the decision is not announced. (See the document for full details.)

2020-03-19

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