What is the mental health tribunal?

mental health tribunal

In this brief article, we will be discussing mental health tribunal, the posts in mental health tribunal, the benefits of getting some help from mental health tribunal, and more information about mental health tribunal.

What is the mental health tribunal in a case?

This kind of tribunal in a case is the panel that you can apply when you have something to delegate because of your mental health concerns.

The following are the panel members of this tribunal:

  • a judge – the chairperson of the panel for this kind of tribunal
  • a medical member – a psychiatrist but not one who works in the hospital you are in for this kind of tribunal
  • a layperson – a professional with relevant experience for this kind of tribunal


They will:

  • look at your mental health and how well you are recovering as part of the process
  • speak to you and the professionals involved in your care as part of the process
  • ask for up-to-date reports about you as part of this process

These kinds of panel members will use this information to decide if you:

  • still fit the conditions for being sectioned as observed or
  • should be discharged from your section and possibly leave hospital due to assessment from this kind of tribunal


You cannot ask them directly if you were meant to be sectioned as stated by the Mental Health Act since it is already outside their jurisdiction.

How to apply for a mental health tribunal?

You can apply for this kind of tribunal by either first-tier or detained or psychiatric which is called section.

You can also apply for a patient due to limitations if you are either of the following:

  • legal representative
  • ‘nearest relative’

This kind of tribunal is independent from the government so that this tribunal can listen to both sides of the argument.

The following are the things that you can do as well if you want this kind of tribunal:

  • a community treatment order in your case
  • the conditions placed on your conditional discharge from hospital in your case

These kinds of tribunal deals are only done in England. However, these kinds of deals are different in Wales and Scotland.

What is the mental health tribunal?


When to apply for the mental health tribunal?

You can find out when you could apply for this tribunal by checking in how you were admitted whether by the doctor or a lawyer.

The following are the specific deadlines for this tribunal:

  • 14 days if you’ve been admitted for assessment (‘section 2’) as necessary
  • 6 months if you’ve been admitted for treatment (‘section 3’) as necessary

You can also get legal advice if you are a restricted patient. This means that you are a patient who just got out of prison which can have different deadlines aside from the mentioned.


If you miss the deadline for the mental health tribunal

You cannot apply to be discharged if you have missed the deadline. However, you can get yourself back on track with this tribunal if you would let the panel look through your case again.

The following cases are given chances when you have missed the deadline for the tribunal:

  • if it’s been 3 years since the tribunal gave you a hearing as observed
  • you’ve not had a hearing in the first 6 months of your detention as observed
What is the mental health tribunal?

Help you can get from mental health tribunal

You can always get legal aid as a patient. You can also ask some advice from the following charities:

  • Carers Direct
  • Mind
  • Rethink

You can always choose to work with your professional if he or she can help you get acquainted with this tribunal. 

Where will the mental health tribunal be held?

This kind of tribunal will be held either in the hospital where you were sectioned or in a courtroom if you have been recognized as a CTO.

The following are the requirements that your room needs to have for this kind of tribunal:

  • private and quiet for the tribunal
  • clean and adequately sized and furnished for the tribunal
  • not a room which contains information about other patients for the tribunal
  • free of any equipment such as video cameras such as if there is any equipment you find worrying, you can mention this and ask for it to be removed for the tribunal

You are also eligible to have a room where you can discuss with your solicitor before and after the hearing.

This kind of situation can help you find a more private discussion since psychological disorders tend to be misrepresented by the public.

What is the mental health tribunal?

Who can represent me at the mental health tribunal?

You are represented by anyone who is relevant to this kind of tribunal. The following are these possible representatives for this kind of tribunal:

  • a solicitor. But you won’t be able to get legal aid unless they are a mental health accredited solicitor for this kind of tribunal. If you have not contacted a solicitor yourself, this kind of tribunal can appoint a solicitor for you if you tell them that you wish to be represented by one. This kind of tribunal might also appoint a solicitor for you if you lack the capacity to appoint one and they believe it would be in your best interests to be represented by one.
  • someone you trust like a family member, your carer or your advocate for this kind of tribunal. But they will normally have to get permission from this kind of tribunal to do this. If you are not going to this kind of tribunal yourself, it is very important for your carer or advocate to attend and speak for you.
  • yourself (self-representation). But legal aid will not normally be available to help you get ready for the hearing for this kind of tribunal. You should think very carefully before deciding to represent yourself for this kind of tribunal. A solicitor will be familiar with the sorts of things this kind of tribunal will be looking at, and will know how best to put your case.
  • You should be given information by the hospital about any free advice and representation available in your local area for this kind of tribunal. Hospital staff should also be available to help you make your application and get ready for the tribunal.

You can also ask for more information if you are a CTO. Some experts have advised that you can ask your IMHA for this information.

You might also find the blog on HM courts and tribunals service letter useful, in order to understand tribunals.

What will happen before your mental health tribunal hearing?

Before your tribunal hearing, your solicitor will arrange a meeting to settle what needs to be said when the hearing starts.

Your solicitor is very helpful to you since they can do the following:

  • explain what will happen at the hearing for this kind of tribunal
  • discuss the concerns which may be dealt with at the hearing, for example, how you will look after yourself if you leave hospital and who will support you for this kind of tribunal
  • help you get access to your medical records, as well as reports about you from your responsible clinician, social worker or AMHP and other professionals involved in your care for this kind of tribunal. You can ask if you want to see them, and if you cannot see them you should be told the reasons why in this kind of tribunal
  • determine documents or other evidence that might help your case and arrange for copies to be sent to the tribunal or for witnesses to attend this kind of tribunal
  • answer any questions you may have about the hearing and tell you about any information about you that might be mentioned at this kind of tribunal
  • ask this kind of tribunal for you if there is anyone you don’t want to be involved in your hearing (though typically the tribunal judge will decide on this)
  • ask an independent doctor for a report about you, and the doctor may come and examine you before the hearing and this report will then go to this kind of tribunal panel.

You can also see the tribunal doctor if you are facing the following situations:

  • If you are under a section 2, the medical member of the tribunal panel, the tribunal doctor who is usually a psychiatrist, will visit you and examine you in private and in a suitable place, before the hearing, so that they can come to a view on your mental health and whether you should be discharged from your section in this kind of tribunal. They will be able to see your medical notes for this kind of tribunal. You should be warned in advance of when this visit will happen for this kind of tribunal. If you do not want to see the doctor, you should tell your solicitor or, if you don’t have a solicitor, tell the tribunal president for this kind of tribunal.
  • If the medical member is not coming to see you because you are under a different section from section 2, and you wish to tell them your views about why you should be discharged, you can ask for them to visit you. But you have to ask at least 14 days before the hearing.
    The tribunal can make an order that you should see the medical member of the panel, especially if you are unable to make a decision about this yourself.

You are also given information and support before your hearing by this solicitor such as the following:

  • The professionals have a duty to consider your wishes, feelings and medical condition, and should make sure you feel as comfortable as possible at the hearing for this kind of tribunal. So if you have any special requests, you should discuss these with your solicitor as far as possible before the hearing for this kind of tribunal.
  • You should also be given information about the tribunal to help you prepare for the hearing properly, if you need the information in picture or video format, ask your IMHA, solicitor or ward staff about this for this kind of tribunal.
  • If you need sign language or support with language interpreters so that you can understand what is going on, ask the hospital managers or get someone else to ask them for you and this should be offered for you free of charge during this kind of tribunal.
What is the mental health tribunal?

Conclusion 

In this brief article, we have discussed mental health tribunal, the posts in mental health tribunal, the benefits of getting some help from mental health tribunal, and more information about mental health tribunal.

If you have any questions about mental health tribunal, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: mental health tribunal

What does mental health tribunal review?

The mental health tribunal reviews take place in the mental health units where the patient is detained.

This kind of tribunal reviews the order to detain the certain patient with the related facts and evidence and will decide if the detention is based on the law. 

What is a first tier tribunal mental health?

A first-tier tribunal mental health or most typically known as mental health tribunal is an independent quasi-judicial body established to safeguard the rights of persons subject to the Mental Health Act 1983.

There is a new upper tribunal that was recently created which hears appeals against decisions by the FTT in England. 

What does nature and degree in mental health?

Nature and degree in mental health refer to the particular psychological disorder from which the patient is suffering, its prognosis, its severity, and its patient’s previous response to receiving treatment for the kind of psychological disorder and degree refer to the current display of the patient’s psychological disorder. 

What is a Section 4 in a Mental Health Act?

A Section 4 in a Mental Health Act is an emergency application for detention in hospital for up to 72 hours.

This kind of section states that it requires only one medical recommendation from a doctor and the application is typically by an Approved Mental Health Professional where on rare occasions, it can applied by the Nearest Relative. 

Who can discharge a section?

The MHA or the Responsible clinician can discharge a section.

This kind of situation is referred to someone who is kept in a hospital for 28 days due to mental health reasons.

This kind of professional is responsible of your care and treatment and once you are discharged, you are no longer required to be sectioned. 

Citations

GOV.UK. Apply to the Mental Health Tribunal.

Mind. Leaving hospital.

What is the mental health tribunal?

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.