Conveyance & absconding

Good evening my dear colleagues.

Statutory assessment for P under MHA, 2 meds recs completed for s2 & AMHP makes an application.

Whilst waiting to convey him to hospital, P absconds therefore doesn’t get to be admitted to hospital.

  1. Is it right to say P’s status is “liable for dention”? If not what is the correct terminology.
  2. As it is a s2 application, how many days does the AMHP have to convey to hospital… in this case we hope the bed is still available?

Please if you can give some reference to the act or the code: i would be grateful.

  1. A bit of contention about this; the Act is not explicit, but P has definitely ‘escaped from custody’.
  2. S.18 does not apply here and so the time limit in s.6 remains relevant; arrival at the hospital within 14 days of the 2nd medical examination.
1 Like

Agree with Guy - it’s been argued s138 applies to any re-detention because the patient has escaped (s137) lawful custody.

I also agree med rec timescales apply so whatever is left of the fourteen days after they abscond.

Yes,P is under section 2 whereever he absconds.

Thank you colleagues for this. So what i am gathering from your responses in that because he did not get admitted, the section 2 was not “validated” therefore the aspect of 28 days for the purpose of section 2 is not relevant?

Hi Esther- yes. When an AMHP signs their application they ( or someone they authorise) has, by virtue of S6, authority to ‘take the patient and convey him to hospital’ within 14 days (or 24 hrs for s4) of the last exanmination by a Dr.
It is only when the patient becomes admitted to the hospital named in the application that the section applied for actually starts (the start time should be recorded by the hospital on a statutory form (H3).
The vast majority of people agree that a patient becomes ‘liable to detention’ when an application is signed, but there are a few dissenting voices out there who take a more nuanced approach to what that phrase actually means.
What has never, to my knowledge, been tested in court is what, exactly, ‘take and convey’ means. In these troubling days when hospital beds are scarce and the 14 days come and go with no admission, could an AMHP who signs an application and then has no bed immediately available be able to say the patient is in their custody because they are being taken or conveyed for 14 days? Answers on a postcard.