Little advice is offered in the literature for the novice report writer, despite the gravity of the situation, for example, a patient appealing against detention. Section 20, which renews the authority for detention after periods of 6 months or a year, is a useful reminder for clinicians, as it outlines the components that must be present in order for detention to continue.
This audit established guidelines for the completion of reports for Mental Health Review Tribunals and Managers' Reviews. A structure and list of ‘features to be included’ was compiled. This was used to rate the standard of reports prepared in the Warneford Hospital between 1991–1993. Following peer consultation within the hospital, the guidelines were considered acceptable and useful. At re-audit after 8 months the standard of reports had improved in most respects.