The Mental Health Practice - PRINCIPAL - Tammy Groves, Solicitor
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Review of the Operation of ss.135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales - April 2014
My heart bleeds when I see vulnerable patients being represented very badly
Do Tribunals love CTOs as much as Psychiatrists do? Part 2
Do Tribunals love CTOs as much as Psychiatrists do?
Patients' experiences of the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health)

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CTOs Tribunal MP v Mersey Care NHS Trust [2011] UKUT 107 (AAC
Legal aid cuts, Reform of legal aid, House of Commons Justice Committee Report
Patients' experience of Mental Health Tribunals, Report of Administrative Justice and Tribunal's
Qualifications of legal representatives
Review of Mental Health Legislation
RN v CC (2011) UKUT x (AAC, CTOs
S.2, Mental Health Act, Mental Health Law, Tribunal, Application, Tammy Groves,R (Modaresi) v SSH
Zombification, Tony Zigmond, Increase in Admissions under the Mental Health Act 1983, CTOs
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The Mental Health Law Blog

Review of the Operation of ss.135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales - April 2014

Review of the Operation of ss.135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales
 
1.   What are the key sections of the Mental Health Act 1983 that are being reviewed in the consultation?
 
The consultation is reviewing the operation of sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. This gives the police powers to temporarily remove people, who appear to be suffering from a mental disorder and who need urgent care, to a "place of safety" so that a mental health assessment can be carried out and appropriate arrangements made for their care.

My heart bleeds when I see vulnerable patients being represented very badly

We received a letter today from a local Trust.  This said that they have been receiving requests from patients about the qualifications of legal representatives advertising their services for Tribunal representation, and whether they are members of the Law Society Panel.  TheTrust was seeking further information to be supplied to them so that their patients could "make an informed choice" about the person who would be representing them at their Mental Health Review Tribunal.
 

Do Tribunals love CTOs as much as Psychiatrists do? Part 2

A recent case before the Upper Tier Tribunal suggests that perhaps not all Tribunalsdolove CTOs (community treatment orders).
 
In the case ofRN v CC (2011) UKUT x (AAC), the solicitor of a patient detained on s.3 was instructed by her client not to apply for discharge of the section, but rather to ask the Tribunal to use their powers under s.72 (3A) (a) of the Mental Health Act 1983 to recommend that the Responsible Clinician consider whether to make a CTO.  Sounds straight forward enough, but when the Solicitor proceeded to present her case to the Panel at the start of the Tribunal, the Judge stopped her in her tracks and told her that the Tribunal would NOT be making such a recommendation and invited her to consider what other position she might adopt.

Do Tribunals love CTOs as much as Psychiatrists do?

When CTOs first came out, I was involved in a few cases where Tribunals foolishly ordered a deferred discharge of a patient who was detained on s.3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, with the  express intent that this was to facilitate the patient being made subject to a CTO instead.  What the Tribunal had failed to grasp that a CTO is dependent on a S.3 being in existence - the s.3 goes “dormant” when the CTO is implemented, and can spring back into existence if  the CTO is revoked.  Accordingly at the time that the deferred discharge becomes effective,   any CTO that has been put in place by that date is automatically discharged too.

Patients' experiences of the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health)

This is theReportof a joint pilot project of the “Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council” and the “Care Quality Commission”. It is hot off the press -published in March 2011- and makes very interesting reading for all those involved in the Mental Health system, and is essential reading for Mental Health Lawyers. What makes it different from other studies and reports into the Tribunal system is that it turns the focus on the experiences of the Patients themselves who are of course the most important people in the whole process, yet so often their views are overlooked or disregarded.

The Death Of Legal Aid?

Today theHouse of Commons Justice Committee  reporton the “Government's proposed reform of legal aid” was published. It makes sombre reading.
 
In short, the Government intends to reduce the money spent on “legal aid” by £350 million  a year, primarily by taking certain areas of law outside the scope of legal aid, and by reducing the level of fees paid to providers.
 
In relation to the former proposal, the categories of law which may soon fall outside the legal aid scheme includes clinical negligence, consumer law, education, debt, employment and welfare benefits.

Mental health patients complain of 'zombification',

Zombification, Tony Zigmond, Increase in Admissions under the Mental Health Act 1983, CTOs"Mental health patients complain of 'zombification'",is an article by Mark Gould which appeared in “The Guardian” on the 15 March 2011, and which is worth a read. It is of course always refreshing to see “Service Users” portrayed in the media relatively sympathetically, rather than as a menace to society.  Although a very common complaint of my clients is indeed the sedating effects of medication, this article does not actually focus on the “zombification” of mental health patients as the strapline suggests.

The Birth of The Mental Health Law Blog!

S.2, Mental Health Act, Mental Health Law, Tribunal, Application, R (Modaresi) v SSHWell, I figured it was high time I joined the growing army of Bloggers, so here it is, the Mental Health Law Blog!  The title gives a generous clue to what makes this different from other Blogs - the focus is on mental health, and in particular mental health law. Mental health law tends to be the “poor relation” in the legal field; it’s not particularly sexy, when it hits the newspapers it is rarely in a good way, and those at the receiving end of it do not tend to have much of a voice.
 
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