wonder if you could give me some advice.
person’s legal status is section 2 requiring section 3 admission
patient’s nearest relative objects. Amhp makes application to Court under S29 and the once the Court has heard both accounts from council and NR, grants the order, displaces NR and a new one is appointed.
Could you advise me whether the AMHP has to reinterview/reassess the patient and if so what grounds? Are there any circumstances this would happen?
Does the AMHP simply make the application for s3 if evidence at Court shows still meets the criteria?
Any signposting/advice would be much appreciated.
I’m sorry that you haven’t had a reply. It would be interesting to hear what you did.
The commentary on s13(2) in Jones’s 23rd edition states:
BEFORE MAKING AN APPLICATION. The interview required by this provision can take place more than 14 days before the application, provided that the AMHP has confirmed that an application is necessary by having face to face contact with the patient within 14 days of the application as required by s11(5): see Re Whitbread (Mental Patient: Habeas Corpus) …
I’m sure many AMHPs have experienced your scenario, and I hope this short reply will prompt a better one!
Hi Jonathan and Kerry Louise
Sorry for such a late response to this but have been on leave and saw it recently. It’s an interesting question!
The applicant to court has to confirm that the grounds continue to be met for the s.3 when they apply to court and again on the day of the hearing. So much depends on timing but essentially, the AMHP has specific timescales in which they have to have personally seen the patient as per Jonathan’s reference to you. The interview could take place outside of those 14 days. The usual timescales for medical recommendations and applications and the relevant duties are not changed by any of this.
So the AMHP still needs a valid medical recommendations and of course, the AMHP then presumably has to consult once again with the new nearest relative as part of their duties in s11(4).
The MHA Reference Guide simplifies things helpfully in the circumstances you describe but stating at para 2.43 that *“if the displacement order is ultimately made, and not reversed on appeal, the maximum period of detention will be extended for a further seven days starting with the day the application was disposed of. This allows time for an application for admission for treatment or guardianship to be made, if appropriate.”
So depending on the timing of the court hearing, it might be likely that the AMHP already has valid medical recommendations, has interviewed and seen the patient not long before the final court hearing and can therefore complete the application once they consult with the new NR as long as that new NR does not object.
Local Authorities should have some local protocols in place to assist AMHPs with this and its likely the legal depts in LAs would too.
I hope this helps and it would be interesting to know how the AMHP did resolve this if you are able to say?