Mental Health Tribunal pilot scheme
Mental Health Tribunal hearing process change
A new pilot has come into force on 3 October 2022 as part of a road map for the future of Mental Health Tribunal hearings following the decline of COVID-related concerns regarding public gatherings. Until now, Mental Health Tribunals have continued to take place remotely via video conference. Whilst this has had its benefits, it is not always desirable for a patient to have to attend such hearings remotely and not benefit from being able to discuss their case in person with those making decisions regarding their liberty.
Tribunal by video or face to face
With the introduction of this pilot scheme, patients will now be given the decision of whether THEY wish the Tribunal to take place via video conference or in person, giving them more say in how they would like their hearings to be conducted to facilitate their full participation in the hearing. There is also an option for patients who have no preference, in which the default position would be that a video conference is listed.
The pilot does not extend to those on a Section 2 at present, but will be included from 7 November 2022.
It is therefore important that anyone asked by the patient to complete an appeal form on their behalf completes the new application form which includes this additional question to ensure the patient benefits from this freedom of choice. All relevant forms, which can be completed by anyone acting on the patient’s behalf, can be found on the gov.uk website using this link.
The pilot is expected to run until January 2023 when a final review decision will be made.
At David Gray Solicitors we have the largest team of specialist Mental Health solicitors in the North East and we are here to help you.
We understand that being sectioned can be a scary and upsetting time so, if you or someone you know needs help, please contact our specialist mental health team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0191 232 9547.