Mental health tribunals: an issue for clinical governance

Mental health tribunals: an issue for clinical governance Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine reasons given by Mental Health Review Tribunals for discharging patients from detention and the effect the length of detainment had on the immediate outcome of discharged patients and to examine the effect on outcome from quality of reports and sources of evidence presented to the MHRTs. Design/methodology/approach – All documentation pertaining to MHRTs heard in the Cambridge area over a 12‐month period were reviewed. Findings – A quarter of tribunals heard were discharged, as they did not fulfil the legal criteria for detention. RMO non‐attendance was significant in this group. Unfavourable short‐term outcomes suggest that half of these discharges were premature. Improved aftercare compliance was associated with longer duration on a Section of the Mental Health Act prior to MHRT discharge. Research limitations/implications – This study reflects practice in the service (with a relatively small number of in‐patient sections) and may not be generalisable to other populations. Practical implications – Improvement in the quality of evidence including risk assessments provided at tribunals should prevent premature discharges whilst maintaining the balance between civil liberties and good clinical care. Originality/value – This paper highlights the need for improvement in clinical practice and training. Whilst it is primarily of interest to doctors, all professionals involved in MHRTs can learn from it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Governance: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Mental health tribunals: an issue for clinical governance

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7274
DOI
10.1108/14777270510629354
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine reasons given by Mental Health Review Tribunals for discharging patients from detention and the effect the length of detainment had on the immediate outcome of discharged patients and to examine the effect on outcome from quality of reports and sources of evidence presented to the MHRTs. Design/methodology/approach – All documentation pertaining to MHRTs heard in the Cambridge area over a 12‐month period were reviewed. Findings – A quarter of tribunals heard were discharged, as they did not fulfil the legal criteria for detention. RMO non‐attendance was significant in this group. Unfavourable short‐term outcomes suggest that half of these discharges were premature. Improved aftercare compliance was associated with longer duration on a Section of the Mental Health Act prior to MHRT discharge. Research limitations/implications – This study reflects practice in the service (with a relatively small number of in‐patient sections) and may not be generalisable to other populations. Practical implications – Improvement in the quality of evidence including risk assessments provided at tribunals should prevent premature discharges whilst maintaining the balance between civil liberties and good clinical care. Originality/value – This paper highlights the need for improvement in clinical practice and training. Whilst it is primarily of interest to doctors, all professionals involved in MHRTs can learn from it.

Journal

Clinical Governance: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2005

Keywords: Research; Mental health services; Tribunals; Laws

References

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