I am trying to complete the above form online. It is not very user friendly. I have downloaded a word version and put information in but it won’t let me edit it the way it is asking me to. Also, I can’t figure out how to actually submit it online. It is an urgent request so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Have you got the required medical recommendations from doctors?
Before going down this road and if not done already, if you are the NR you could exercise your power to ask the local social services authority (covering the area where the person is physically located) to consider making an application.
Thanks for your reply. I am the NR. We have been desperately trying to get the GP, Police Liaison etc to give the medical recommendation, and we are being let down at every point. She was assessed this afternoon by GP and we are astounded that he will not make the referral to AMHP or First Point of Access. I have tried to get AMHP to come and assess her and they will not. I have no doubt that she meets the threshold. How does exercising my power to ask the local social services to consider making an application work? She is in the care of the housing authority at the moment. We are planning on taking her to A&E to get assessed there, but are beating our heads against a very strong brick wall at the moment.
Right of Nearest Relative (NR) to request Mental Health Act assessment:
Under section 13 (Duty of approved social workers to make applications for admission or guardianship) NR has a right to ask local social services authority to assess a patient living in their area. In practice the request is considered by a duty AMHP on behalf of local social services authority, who is required to consider the case for admission to hospital or write to the NR to explain the reasons for not making an application for admission.
Section 13 (4) of the Act states:
“It shall be the duty of a local social services authority, if so required by the nearest relative of a patient residing in their area, to direct an approved social worker as soon as practicable to take the patient’s case into consideration under subsection (1) above with a view to making an application for his admission to hospital; and if in any such case that approved social worker decides not to make an application he shall inform the nearest relative of his reasons in writing.”
If a request for assessment under the Act is made by someone who is not the NR under the Act, AMHP considering the case does not have to explain the reasons in writing for not undertaking an assessment.
Thank you, that is really useful. So do I submit the form to the local social services authority?
There is no ‘form’ as such for a request by the nearest relative for an AMHP to ‘consider the patient’s case with a view to making an application’ [for admission]. A verbal request or a simple letter is sufficient to trigger the duty.
A letter provides clearer evidence of course.
Clearly stating you are making a nearest relative request under s13(4) of the Mental Health Act will spell it out unmistakably.
Having said that, it does not oblige the AMHP to set up a full assessment, but they must ‘consider the case’ and as the previous respondent said, must put in writing to the nearest relative why they did not make an application, if one is not completed.
Contacting the local mental health service or local authority social care, and informing them you need to speak to the AMHP service for the purpose of such a request would be the best route.