Displacement of the Nearest Relative before detention

We have been consulted by a client who is pre-empting a future detention under section and wants to apply now to displace her current NR so that they are not involved at all. She does not think that they will agree to delegate their powers and she is caused consideration anxiety and stress at the thought of them being involved in any stage of her care or having any information whatsoever.
Currently she is not a ‘patient’. Can she apply now for displacement proceedings or does she need to wait until she has been detained please?

You don’t need to be a detained patient to apply to the county court for the appointment of an acting nearest relative (and therefore the displacement pro tem of the old one).

s29(2)(za) MHA allows an application be made by “the patient”. In this context, a patient means anyone suffering, or appearing to be suffering from, a mental disorder (s145(1)).

s29 is a clunky procedure, barely fit for (this) purpose, but it was deliberately amended by the MHA 2007 so that it could be used prospectively by people fearing themselves at risk of detention.


Thanks Richard, the term ‘patient’ was causing me doubt, so grateful for the clarification.