Re A8: Could it be considered that, taken together, two med recs (one not stating a hospital name) are insufficient?
I’m sorry that you’ve not had a reply to this yet.
There is no very clear guidance on the distinction, but I think that the one not stating the hospital name would probably be “defective” (and so rectifiable) rather than “insufficient”.
Thank you Jonathan., The decision to be made is then… are they insufficient, if the 14 day rectification period has lapsed and the one not stating the hospital name has not been rectified…?
The 14-day time period applies to rectification of an incorrect or defective form (under s15(1)) and to replacement of an insufficient medical recommendation (under s15(2)).
The question really is whether the omission is enough to make detention unlawful.
I’ve never really understood the emphasis placed on identifying the hospital, as the Act doesn’t mention it (though arguably it’s linked with whether treatment is available, and the regulations do say the medical recommendation “shall be in the form set out” in Form A7/A8). Anyway, in your case one medical recommendation did identify the hospital, which might make it more likely that the other just has a de minimis omission that doesn’t affect lawfulness.
In my experience t will come down to the Mental Health Act Administrators and whether or not they are happy with the ‘paperwork’. If they are not, then you will need new recommendations. They will also need to decide if the error is sufficient to warrant a ‘fresh assessment’, including a new application. MHA Administrators have access to their own legal team, and in general they err on the side of caution. No one wants a potential fine down the road.
In the area that I practiced, AMHP’s would advise medics that a joint recommendation wasn’t used for the exact reasons pointed out above. One mistake could invalidate the recommendations. In light of this I never carried Joint Recommendation forms.