Prior to the 1983 Mental Health Act (MHA), Mental Health Tribunals (MHRTs) did not have the power to order delayed discharge of a patient appealing against a section, although there was evidence that tribunals used the power of adjournment to allow time for follow-up to be arranged. This power was used more often with patients in special hospitals where the option of remaining on an informal basis did not exist. Hepworth and others advocated giving tribunals the power of delayed discharge. This was supported by the White Paper (1978) and subsequently became part of the 1983 MHA, together with some increase in the responsibility of the local authorities to provide after care for Section 3 and 37 patients. But the new Act also allowed the appeal of patients on Section 2, while giving no responsibility to the local authority for their after-care. It was difficult to see how delayed discharge could be implemented as an after-care safeguard for Section 2 patients who would often have only two weeks or so of their Section to run in any case. With this in mind, I studied all cases appearing before the MHRT in a general psychiatric hospital in the two years following the new Act.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.