It is common practice at one establishement where I sit for there to be recommendations follwoing the written decison with the instruction that the recommendations are not be shared with the patient . I was informed during a recent training session that there had been an appeal agisnt this prctice but can find no details in this regard. Can anyone please assisit
Hello Mary, I am not surprised to hear that there has been an appeal against this practice but I do not have access to case law on this subject. My own experience has been that the chair of the Managers panel communicates directly to the patient the decision and reasons at the end of the hearing. If the patient has been represented by a solicitor then the written reasons are sent to the solicitor who can then share these with his client. I hope this helps but I am sure that there will be others more qualified to advise you.
Sorry for any confusion .
I am referring to the written decision after the patient has been informed by the Chair of the outcome .
I’m sure it is not legal to withhold the reasons from the patient but this a question for a lawyer.
Its the recommendations that are withheld from the patient
Does the patient get anything in writing explaining why he was (or more likely, was not) discharged? Could you give examples of the recommendations that are withheld from the patient? Thanks.
This sounds very concerning and potentially unlawful. If the solicitor is unaware of the practice they could not challenge it.
I cannot think of any recommendations that the managers could make which could legitimately be withheld from the patient. My particular concern would be that they were recommending things that were not in the patient’s interest.
The reasons for the panel’s decision should be shared with the patient. Sometimes the panel members will have some sort of generic point to raise with the Trust/the Local Authority which would not be shared. Things like ‘We have noticed that the potential for discharges is being delayed due to a lack of supported accommodation in the area’ And I suppose there may be very rare examples where some information may be witheld from a patient due to risk posed to a third party.
I take the view that any recommendation/s arising from a Hearing should be made availabe to that patient , and if the recommendation refers to actions to be taken by the LA or Health Authority then surely the patient and his or her representative need to know that. This view is not however shared by others .
I’m curious about these recommendations. Could you give some examples?
Something purely administrative like “We recommend cucumber sandwiches next time” clearly has nothing to do with the patient, but beyond that anything to do with detention or discharge seems relevant and should be disclosed to the patient (subject to the serious harm point that Nick noted).
Examples include : issues regarding Nearest Relative , Reports that do not comply with Practice Directions, Care Plans that are out of date etc
I think I agree with you about not hiding that sort of thing from the patient. Presumably they say that all the patient needs is adequate reasons for the s23 discharge decision, but is the goal really just to save embarrassment?
Maybe there is an ongoing case that hasn’t concluded yet, or one that settled out of court. The answer is probably to ask the trainer for more information – and share it here