Which of the three local authorities is responsible for this s3 assessment?

Continuing the discussion from Who is responsible for out-of-area MHA assessment?:

Sorry can I just ask another question for this post, appreciate it was a while ago.

P is living in Local Authority A, admitted to A&E in Local Authority B however, they have no OOH AMHP service and this is provided by Local Authority C who undertake the MHAA and place P on S.2. Bed Management then provide a bed in Local Authority A. Request for assessment for S.3 comes in, Local Authority A decline saying its the responsibility of the authority who assessed for S.2 (I understand and accept this part).

Which Authority should be assessing for S.3? The wording of COP 14.37 is ‘whose behalf the AMHP was acting is responsible…’. So when undertaking the S.2, could Local Authority C have approached Local Authority A to confirm they were ‘acting on behalf of’ or was Local Authority C ‘acting on behalf of’ Local Authority B as they were covering OOH therefore it is for Local Authority B to undertake the S.3?

Thoughts amongst some of the team is that if Local Authority C had confirmed they were ‘acting on behalf of’ Local Authority A for the S.2 then at the point P was moved back to their home area, then Local Authority A would have undertaken the S.3. Some people thinks it’s Local Authority B purely because Local Authority C were providing OOA!! We keep having discussions around ‘where the body is/was’ at the time of the S.2 but now I’m just confused!!

Is there no one with a view on my post?? Could really use some help!!

This is my take on it…
Depends on whose behalf the assessing AMHP was working when they completed the s2 application. That will be written on the application.
If authority A doesn’t have an out-of-hours service, then I would imagine they would have a formal arrangement with authority B that their AMHPs are working on behalf of authority A when assessing patients from that area.
I’m aware of several local authorities who have shared OOH services where the AMHP is approved by one (they can of course only be approved by a single authority) but authorised to act on behalf of the other authority/ies.
Without a formal agreement between authorities, there should not be informal ways of an AMHP acting on behalf of another authority, no matter where the patient is or where they live. It has implications for vicarious responsibility, health and safety, supervision and legal support.
So from your post, I would suggest that the s13(1B/C) duty to assess for s3 would sit with authority A, if the AMHP completing the s2 application had been acting on behalf of authority A.
However, if there was no arrangement in place, and the AMHP from authority B completed the s2 application while working on behalf of their approving authority (B), then the duty to assess for s3 would sit with authority B.
Authority A doesn’t come into it. The original s13(1) duty to assess for s2 depends on “where the body is”. The person was located in authority B, even though they are resident in A.

Thanks Steve. Local Authority A where P is from is another part of the Country, it’s Local Authority B and C that have some cross border agreement. So if Local Authority C wrote on the Section papers ‘acting on behalf of B’ then it is Local Authority B responsibility. If they did not then it is Local Authority C?

Sorry, I got confused with my letters at the start of my reply. Yes, I should have said…
“If authority B doesn’t have an out-of-hours service, then I would imagine they would have a formal arrangement with authority C that their AMHPs are working on behalf of authority B when assessing patients [in] that area.”
Your final point is indeed my take on it.
As you are aware, the duty to arrange the s3 assessment in these circumstances lies with the LSSA which arranged the s2 detention, and where there are cross-border agreements, the best way to identify that is to see what is written on the s2 application.
Where there is a dispute and the potential assessment is 200 miles away, I guess it may finish up with the respective legal teams!