Associate Hospital Managers
Supporting people affected by the Mental Health Act
If you are detained under one of the sections of the Mental Health Act (or are subject to a Community Treatment Order) you have the right to have your detention reviewed by Associate Hospital Managers.
Who are Associate Hospital Managers?
- Patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act can ask for their case to be reviewed by Associate Hospital Managers. They can decide whether a patient should be discharged from detention.
- They are independent of our Trust and of the clinical teams who assess and treat people detained under the Act.
- The name “managers" can be confusing because it does not mean the people who run our hospitals. Associate Hospital Managers are independent volunteers and not employed by the Trust.
What is the role of Associate Hospital Managers?
- Associate Hospital Managers sit on panels to review the cases of patients detained under the Mental Health Act.
- Reviews can be held at any time; however, they are usually held following an appeal by a patient or following the renewal of their detention by their responsible clinician, who is the person in charge of their care.
- Associate Hospital Managers have the power to discharge most people detained under the Mental Health Act and anyone subject to a Community Treatment Order.
- Their role is to ensure any detention is legal and appropriate by asking questions of the relevant clinical team to ascertain if continued detention is required and/or justified under the Mental Health Act.
- They report any issues and/or concerns relating to patients detained under the Act via the Mental Health Law Office, which reports to the Trust Board.
How do I make an appeal for my case to be reviewed?
If you wish to make an appeal, you can speak to the ward manager or your designated nurse, who will provide you with all the information you need on how the process works. They will also provide you with a form to complete. Alternatively, you can contact the Mental Health Law Office for advice and support via MHLOffice@swlstg.nhs.uk.
To help you through the process of making an appeal
- be legally represented
- have an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) or
- have a friend or relative to support you
What happens after an appeal has been made?
- The Mental Health Law Office will write to you acknowledging your appeal application.
- They will request reports from your responsive clinician and other relevant professionals involved in your care.
- The reports will contain information about the circumstances of your admission to hospital, your health, care and treatment and the plans for your future care.
- The Associate Hospital Managers will aim to hear your appeal/renewal within four weeks of the date of your application and will provide you with details of the date, time and venue in writing.
- Once the date has been set and the reports received, copies of all the reports will be sent to you for you to read in advance of the hearing.
- If you have chosen to have a solicitor to give you advice, your solicitor will also be given copies of the reports and will discuss these with you before the hearing.
- Other people present at the hearing may include your:
- responsible clinician
- care co-ordinator
- nearest relative or friend
- IMHA (if you have asked for their support)
- solicitor (if you have decided to use one).
On the day of the hearing
- You will be asked if you would like to attend the hearing, but you do not have to if you do not wish to.
- You will be offered the opportunity to speak with the managers privately before the hearing starts.
- The chair of the panel will introduce themselves and explain the process.
- The panel has to satisfy itself about matters regarding your health and welfare, and what is in your best interests. This will be done by considering the information contained in the reports and by asking questions during the hearing.
- You will be given every opportunity to ask questions and express your views. If you have a solicitor or IMHA they will help you with this.
- Once everyone has finished speaking, you and the professionals who have attended the hearing will be asked to leave the room so that the panel can have a discussion and reach a decision. This may take a little time as the panel has to carefully consider all the information provided.
The chair of the panel will ensure that the decision of the panel is explained to you. Your solicitor (if you have one), IMHA, named nurse or care co-ordinator can support you in understanding the decision. A written decision will be sent from the Mental Health Law Office to you and your nearest relative.
How do I contact the Associate Hospital Managers?
Contact can be made through the Trust’s Mental Health Law Office by emailing MHLOffice@swlstg.nhs.uk.