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Standard of medical tribunal reports in a high secure setting

  • Paula Marie Murphy (a1) and Amlan Basu (a2)
Abstract
Aims and method

To investigate whether medical tribunal reports were meeting acceptable standards as set out in the practice direction issued by the Tribunal Service in 2010. We looked at 50 medical reports and compared the content of the reports with a 13-item checklist that was derived from the recommendations set out in the practice direction.

Results

The results show a number of areas where the reports are not meeting acceptable standards. For 5 of 13 items in our checklist, less than 80% of reports evaluated included the required information.

Clinical implications

The results have important clinical governance implications. As clinicians we need to improve our report writing, not least because it is our professional and statutory duty but also to avoid potential repercussions from the tribunal in terms of their legal power to order remedies, sanctions and costs. Improvements might be achieved through robust performance management of individual clinicians and consideration being given to including this in revalidation procedures.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Paula Marie Murphy (paulamurphy2@nhs.net)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 HM Courts and Tribunal Service. Mental Health Tribunals Guidance. HM Courts and Tribunal Service, no date (http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/tribunals/mentalhealth/index.htm).
2 Davison, P, Perez de Albeniz, P. Reports prepared for the Mental Health Review Tribunals and Managers' Reviews. Psychiatr Bull 1997; 21: 364–6.
3 Ismail, K, Smith, S, Maden, T. Mental health review tribunal medical reports. Psychiatr Bull 1998; 22: 615–8.
4 Regional Chairmen of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for England and Wales Guidance for the Preparation of Medical Reports for the MHRT. Mental Health Review Tribunal Secretariat, 2000.
5 Egleston, P, Hunter, MD. Improving the quality of medical reports to mental health review tribunals. Psychiatr Bull 2002; 26: 215–8.
6 O'Muirithe, B, Shankar, R. An audit of the quality of reports to Mental Health Review Tribunals. Med Sci Law 2008; 48: 221–4.
7 HM Courts and Tribunal Service. History of Tribunals Reforms. HM Courts and Tribunal Service, no date (http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/about/hmcts/tribunals/Tribunals-History.pdf).
8 HM Courts and Tribunal Service. Reports for Mental Health Tribunals. Reports Guidance Booklet. Tribunals Service, 2010.
9 Webster, CD, Douglas, KS, Eaves, D, Hart, SD. HCR-20: Assessing Risk for Violence (Version 2). Simon Fraser University, 1997.
10 Department of Health. The Journey to Recovery – The Government's Vision for Mental Health Care. Department of Health, 2001.
11 HM Courts and Tribunal Service. Reports for Mental Health Tribunals (2nd edn). Reports Guidance Booklet. Tribunals Service, 2012.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Standard of medical tribunal reports in a high secure setting

  • Paula Marie Murphy (a1) and Amlan Basu (a2)
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