DHSC, 'Section 67 of the MHA 1983: References by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to the First-tier Tribunal' (14/8/19)
Tribunal references "Sets out when the Secretary of State can refer patients to the First-tier Tribunal under section 67 of the Mental Health Act and how to request a referral." The only change since the 2013 version is that the DHSC contact details were updated.
Text of first Gov.uk page
Section 67 of the Mental Health Act 1983 gives the Secretary of State for Health the power to refer the case of non-restricted patients to the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health).
The tribunal’s main purpose is to review the case of patients detained or subject to supervised community treatment under the Act. Anyone, including hospital managers, local social services authorities, nearest relatives and patients themselves, may ask the Secretary of State to consider making a reference to the First-tier Tribunal.
These documents include:
- a briefing on when the Secretary of State can make a referral and how to make a request for a referral
- a list of circumstances in which applications can be made to the tribunal and an explanation of who can make them
14 August 2019: The documents ‘References by the Secretary of State for Health to the First-tier Tribunal’ and ‘Applications to the Tribunal List’ have been replaced with new versions. The only change is that DHSC contact details have been updated.
22 April 2013: Changes made to 'References by the Secretary of State for Health to the First-tier Tribunal', to incorporate change of contact details.
2 September 2010: First published.
Section 67 of the Mental Health Act 1983: References by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to the First-tier Tribunal
Updated 14 August 2019
Applies to England
References by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to the First-tier Tribunal
Under section 67 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care can refer the following patients to the Tribunal when he considers it appropriate to do so:
- any patient detained in hospital as a result of an application for assessment or treatment under sections 2, 3 or 4 of the act
- most patients detained in hospital by the courts or as a result of being transferred by the Secretary of State for Justice from prison – except those subject to special restrictions (restricted patients)
- any patient on supervised community treatment (community treatment orders) under the act
- any patient subject to guardianship under the act
- some patients who are detained under other legislation but who are treated as if they are subject to an unrestricted hospital or guardianship order under section 37 of the act
The Secretary of State for Justice considers requests under section 71 for references to the Tribunal in respect of restricted patients. The Tribunal does not deal with people who are remanded by the courts for report under section 35 or under section 36 for treatment, or who are on interim hospital orders under section 38.
Requests for references under section 67
Anyone may ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make a reference for any reason at any time. In practice, requests are most commonly made in cases where:
- a patient detained under section 2 misses the 14-day deadline for applying to the Tribunal through no fault of their own and there is still time for a hearing to be arranged before the section 2 is due to expire
- a patient’s detention under section 2 has been extended pending resolution of proceedings under section 29 to displace their nearest relative (the act does not give patients the right to apply directly to the Tribunal in these circumstances)
These examples do not preclude references from being made under section 67 in other situations.
Requests for references under section 67 of the act should be sent to:
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Legislation
Leeds LS2 7UE
Telephone: 0113 254 5000
Information required to support the request
Your letter will need to set out clearly why a Secretary of State’s reference under section 67 is being sought. You will need to read the guidance and complete the tribunal referral form (currently form T111) and not the application form (currently form T110) when requesting a section 67 reference and attach it to your letter.
Please do not sign or date the referral form. In addition to the information to be given in the form, please indicate in your letter, the length of time the patient has been on the section of the act.
The issues that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will take into account when considering making a reference under section 67
The issues that the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will take into account include but are not limited to:
- the reason for the request
- the length of time since the case was last considered by a Tribunal (if ever)
- the length of time it may be before an application may (or a reference must) be made under other sections of the act
- whether any decision being sought falls within the remit of a Tribunal
These are not, however, the only factors. Each case will be considered on its merits. The Secretary of State will not refer cases where the patient has already been discharged from their section.
If the Secretary of State makes a reference under section 67, he will ask the Tribunal Secretariat to make the necessary arrangements, and the person who made the request will be informed.
Applications for a Tribunal hearing by the patient and/or their nearest relative
It is of course far more common for patients (and, in some instances, their nearest relatives) to make their own applications for a Tribunal hearing. Wherever they can make an application, they should do so rather than request a reference under section 67.