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Transfers under the Act

7 August 2013

Cross-border transfer and right of appeal

When Scottish Ministers grant a warrant for transfer out of Scotland, the patient has the right of appeal to the Tribunal. Surprisingly, the named person has no right of appeal. We think this must have been an error in drafting the cross-border regulations, because the named person does have the right to appeal transfer between hospitals in Scotland. We have discussed this with the Tribunal and the Scottish Government.

If the named person objects to the patient being transferred out of Scotland, he/she should contact the Mental Welfare Commission as a matter of urgency. We would then make a reference to the Tribunal. This allows the Tribunal to hear the named person's objection and decide whether or not the transfer should take place. We hope that Scottish Ministers amend the regulations to allow a right of appeal for the named person. The regulations also need to be amended to ensure that patients transferred into Scotland have the right of appeal to the Tribunal without delay.

Transfer within Scotland and suspension of detention

What happens if a patient is recalled from suspension of detention but there is no bed in the hospital in which he/she was detained? This is a problem where the hospital is named in the order, e.g. a compulsory treatment order or compulsion order. If admission to a different hospital is necessary, the responsible medical officer should first revoke the suspension certificate. If urgent admission to a different hospital is necessary, this is an urgent transfer under section 124(5). Hospital managers must notify this transfer to us on form Tx2 within 7 days. The patient or named person can appeal to the Tribunal against the transfer and could be returned to the previous hospital if the Tribunal upholds the appeal.

And also on transfers...

A reminder on what the Act says about non-urgent transfers. The patient and named person must receive seven days notice of the proposed transfer, unless the patient agrees to it. If the patient appeals the transfer to the Tribunal, he/she cannot be transferred pending the Tribunal's decision unless the Tribunal agrees. The transfer could still be reversed once the Tribunal makes its decision.