Mental Health Tribunal, 'SM v Livewell Southwest - new process for references' (30/6/21)

Tribunal guidance on references The DHSC has agreed to make an urgent reference on the day of a hearing when the tribunal find that the patient lacked capacity to make the application but the hearing should go ahead.


The following information was circulated to Mental Health Lawyers Assocation members on 1/7/21, based on an email from Sarah Johnston (Deputy Chamber President) on 30/6/21:

SM v Livewell Southwest – New Process for References

Deputy Chamber President, Judge Johnston, described the system the Tribunal has put in place in cooperation with the Department of Health to ensure that a reference can be made on the day the Tribunal is sitting where the patient has been found to lack capacity to make the application.

If the Tribunal finds the patient did not have the capacity to apply to the Tribunal but the Tribunal decides it is the interests of justice to continue with a hearing after hearing submissions from the parties, the Department of Health has agreed to make an urgent reference on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health under Section 67 of the Mental Health Act 1983 so that the case can continue as listed that day.

In this situation, the Tribunal Judge will contact the Department of Health and if the reference is able to be made, the Hearing may be able to continue on the day.