Who sees the tribunal
- People detained in a mental health facility
After an involuntary admission, people can be ordered by the Tribunal to stay in a mental health facility as an involuntary patient. If the treating team think that the patient should continue to be detained, they must provide information to the Tribunal which shows why the person should stay in the mental health facility. The Tribunal evaluates this information and decides if the patient should continue to be detained. The Tribunal can also decide that the patient should be discharged (in some cases this discharge can be deferred for up to 14 days) or that the patient should be discharged subject to a Community Treatment Order (CTO).
- People on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs)
A CTO is a legal order made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal or by a Magistrate. It sets out the terms under which a person must accept medication and therapy, counselling, management, rehabilitation and other services while living in the community. It is implemented by a mental health facility that has developed an appropriate treatment plan for the individual person.
A CTO authorises compulsory care for a person living in the community. If a person breaches a Community Treatment Order, by not complying with the conditions of the Order, the person may be taken to a mental health facility and given appropriate treatment, including medication.
- People being cared for in a mental health facility as a voluntary patient
A voluntary patient is a person who voluntarily remains in a mental health facility for treatment, care or observation, or a person who is admitted under section 7 of the Mental Health Act 2007 as a voluntary patient by his or her guardian. Voluntary patients are generally in hospital as they can benefit from inpatient care.
The Tribunal must review a voluntary patient who remains in a mental health facility (in an involuntary or voluntary capacity) for a continuous period of more than 12 months, at least once every 12 months.
- Forensic Patients and Correctional Patients
This includes people accused of a crime, but who have been found not guilty on the grounds of mental illness. It also includes people who are judged unfit to be tried and people who have developed a mental illness while they are in prison. These people are also called forensic patients.
The Tribunal must review the case of a forensic patient at least once every six months and make a decision about the person’s continued detention, care and treatment, or the appropriateness of their release. That decision stipulate where the patient is to be detained, under what kind of security, the range and kinds of leave (if any) which can be enjoyed, and, if the patient is on conditional release, the range and kinds of conditions which apply in order to allow the patient's continuing presence in the community. The Tribunal can also make a determination about whether a person is fit to stand trial.