Hospital Managers’ Hearings are also known as Associate Managers’ Hearings. They consist of a panel of at least 3 people and they have the power to renew or discharge sections.
Although there needs to be ‘at least 3’ on the panel it is rare in practice to find more than 3. When there are 3, all of them must agree in order to discharge. The Hospital Managers must consider your case if:
- your responsible clinician has renewed/extended your section or Community Treatment Order
- you are an unrestricted patient and have appealed to the Hospital Managers for them to discharge your section, which you can do at anytime
- your responsible clinician has stopped/barred your nearest relative from discharging you
- They also have the power to convene a hearing at their own discretion where they feel appropriate. This usually happens when they are unhappy with the progress in your case and want to put pressure on professionals to ensure things happen more quickly for you.
As with Mental Health Tribunal hearings, the professionals involved with your care will have to write reports explaining whether they feel the section is necessary/appropriate. Your solicitor will be able to go through these reports and advise you before the hearing. Your solicitor can attend the hearing on your behalf if you wish but it is always preferable if you are able to attend too. You may also wish to be supported by an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)(if you have one), or a relative/friend.
It is normal for your solicitor to speak on your behalf and question the clinical team at these hearings but you can, of course, speak too if you wish.
Our experienced team can help and advise on any aspect of the above. Contact our Newcastle or South Shields office for further information on hospital managers’ hearings.