With the proposals in the new MH Bill, there is a suggestion that certification would be needed 10 days ahead of tribunals that people still meet the criteria - but who is doing the certification? Is it proposed to be just the RC, or the RC and an AMHP?
I’ve been searching but can’t find the info!
The Wessley review said it should be the RC and an AMHP. Then the Gov response said:
“We agree that detention should be certified ahead of a Tribunal, and we will be introducing the requirement that certification is provided to show that the patient continues to meet the detention criteria 10 days in advance of a Tribunal hearing, but we think that the responsible clinician alone should do this, rather than it also being an additional duty for AMHPs. This is because the responsible clinician is already required to make the case to the tribunal that the detention criteria continue to be met as part of the tribunal process. We do not think it is necessary to make this a duty of the AMHP as well as we are concerned that to do so might delay the patient’s access to the tribunal.”
In my experience a form of certification was a regular occurrence in Section 2 appeals. Typically, a request would be made for reports, and knowing that RC’s would on occasion use their powers to discharge a few days prior to the hearing, I would kindly ask the RC to review the patient.
Section 3 reviews/certifications would occur when discussing and granting Section 17 leave. The pressure for beds was, and is, an ever-present factor, and I can recall a number of occasions where unsafe discharge protocols were implemented. I am not sure if a formal certification would increase the risks of unsafe discharge or reduce them.