I have a situation where the NR has used their powers to request that P is discharged. This has been Barred by the RC (who has now left) and there is a Managers Review shortly. In the meantime, the NR has formally delegated their role to someone else.
Could someone clarify for me, whether the new NR can now make their own request for discharge, or whether this is not necessary and they could go ahead and request a Tribunal on the back of the barring certificate already issued?
Also, if displacement proceedings were brought, whether this would be to displace the original NR, and ending the delegation of their powers, or the person who the role has been delegated to?
Thanks in advance
Hi Rebecca, my instinctive reply is that as delegation doesn’t change the actual NR in law(only allows someone else to use the powers involved for as long as the real NR is happy with it) that they could not ask again for a discharge, but could ask for a tribunal - and if the case went to court, it would be the original or real NR who gets displaced, not the delegate.
Thanks Claire, that is what I was thinking.
I agree with Claire but I think from a practical perspective the Hospital Managers need to urgently seek clarification from the delegated NR as to whether they wish to pursue the discharge. If they don’t they should probably refer the matter back to the NR to clarify whether they understood this to be the position of the delegated NR and whether they have any differing position. If they do, they will need to consider that person’s position and make a decision at that point. the NR may withdraw the delegation at that point.
There is then the issue of the Tribunal. The NR has a limited time to apply and both the patient and the NR have a right to independent legal representation and NMT CLR is available for both. If there is no conflict between the patient and the NR then you can technically represent both, although you need to be careful. The tribunal is usually the most appropriate forum to argue the dangerousness criteria.
Without doing a deep dive into Mr Jones’ excellent manual, I think that there are two distinct features in this scenario. The first is that an NR application for discharge was made, and that this was barred. This ‘should’ (CoP) drive a Hospital Managers’ Hearing and the option for the NR to approach the FTT. As the NR is not currently authorised to act (by their own choice), this is not an avenue open to them. The FTT may feel that the authorisation falls to the person acting in that role?
The delegation of the NR function subsequent to the barring order is a separate matter. Understanding the timing and motivation would be useful; as on first read, it sounds as though pressure was placed on the NR by the patient to apply for discharge and the failure to secure that drove the NR decision to delegate the function.
If you were looking to displace the NR, it would be the original NR - as they can rescind the delegation at any time. The MH Regs s24 are useful.