Paper reviews and uncontested renewals

If there is NO legal requirement for Hospital Managers one wonders why all uncontested renewals are routinely reviewed by panels as a paper exercise?

Hello Sam
Just to make it clear, not all uncontested renewal hearings are considered as paper reviews. The growing practice has developed since the development of virtual hearings. Which has been a bad thing for natural justice
And hopefully things will change soon. Some more forward thinking providers are allowing managers hearings to take place in a sensible face to face manner


Thank you Steve for your helpful reply. All the hearings I have attended in the last year have been virtual using MS Teams.
In contested hearings this has been very unsatisfactory from the patient’s perspective. My hope is that face to face hearings will be reinstated at the earliest opportunity.

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I split this topic from What circumstances allow covering responsible clinicians to attend Mental Health Review Tribunals and Mental Health Act Manager Reviews? - #4 by Rosemaryherb to keep the two topics separate.

This is almost correct. The Hospital Managers’ Hearing page on MHLO has details. Under the Code of Practice 2015 (paragraphs 38.12 and 38.13):

Hospital managers:

  • may undertake a review of whether or not a patient should be discharged at any time at their discretion;
  • must undertake a review if the patient’s responsible clinician submits to them a report under section 20 of the Act renewing detention or under section 20A extending the CTO;
  • should consider holding a review when they receive a request from a patient (who may be supported by their independent mental health advocate (IMHA), independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA), attorney or deputy or a carer, and
  • should consider holding a review when the responsible clinician makes a report to them under section 25 barring an order by the nearest relative to discharge a patient.

In the last two cases, when deciding whether to consider the case, managers’ panels are entitled to take into account whether the Tribunal has recently considered the patient’s case or is due to do so in the near future. The decision should be recorded in writing and if the decision is taken not to consider the case the reasons documented.

Interpreting “review” as not entailing an oral hearing allows even mandatory reviews to be carried out on the papers.

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