Discharging 47/49 patients

Why is it that life sentence patients detained under section 47 /49 of the mental health act are discharged into the community with just £20 to live on until there universal credit application has been processed? But if the patient returned to prison whey would receive a week’s welfare benefits, but in the majority of cases it deemed inappropriate to return patient to prison. Lastly, whilst the patient is detained within a psychiatric hospital before their discharge they are given the opportunity to have sleep over in there new supported living accommodation but the problem is that they have only £20 to live on.

prison transfer patients receive £20.15 a week from the dept. of health.
I’m an IMHA at a hospital where they have a policy of meeting some of the additional costs for these patients e.g. essential toiletries, money for recovery based activities e.g. materials to undertake a course or travel costs. shouldn’t the costs if having the overnight leave in preparation for discharge should be factored into the s117 funding? If furniture and appliances etc are required and not included in the s117 funding, the care coordinator should seek a grant from the local authority (the grants which replaced community care grants when these were stopped)
for patients serving a prison sentence, they would return to prison when hospital treatment is no longer required.
for patients whose prison sentence is completed while in hospital, their section changes to a S37N at the end of their sentence and can apply for benefits.
for patients that are post tariff lifers, they should get parole before being discharged into the community, then once parole is granted, they should become eligible to apply for benefits.
I have never come across a case where a patient has been discharged to the community whilst still serving a sentence or awaiting parole.

I hope I’ve got all this correct, this is my experience of prison transfer patients being discharged anyway.

There are specific workers within DWP to support people leaving prison and secure hospitals to apply for benefits whilst still detained and to support with the application being expedited or interim finance arrangements. Many hospitals do not tap into these DWP staff therefore as you point out s47 and s47/49 patients are at a disadvantage.

The costs associated with s17 overnight leave you refer to should be funded as part of the transition and discharge plan. Similarly any activities whilst on leave that form part of rehabilitation treatment should be funded. There are creative ways that hospitals, ICBs and local authorities can work together to ensure there is no inequity for s47 or s47/49 patients during their transfer to discharge.