Identification of the s. 26 Nearest Relative

The nearest relative for a detained patient was their mum, who has recently died. In identifying the new NR under section 26, there is a father who was married to the mum, but they have been estranged from the patient since the age of three. There is also a sibling.

Would the father still technically be the NR or due to be estranged would that fall to the sibling?

Yep, father. Estrangement is irrelevant. That sort of separation is only relevant for spouses who have permanently separated or been ‘deserted’. Any change would need to be authorised by a court, or the father delegating to another person (such as the sibling)


It could be the sibling if they met the requirement in s26(4) of either ordinarily residing with or caring for the patient. If father was neither residing with or caring for, that is.
NR identification can be tricky.


Or it may be someone else looking at the list of relatives and highlighting anyone who meets s26(4). You only rank and pick those at the top once you’re worked through the list. Like Christine said, it can be tricky.