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In late 2018, MindWise joined the Children’s Law Centre in a Judicial Review. We took a stance on the right of a person to more than one mental health review tribunal within a six month period.
The law regarding Mental Health Tribunals which was being contested by the Department of Health. Now in 2020 the Department of Health has issued guidance to the Mental Health Review Tribunals to change the Departments procedure to facilitate more than one application.
This is a great result and the Children’s Law Centre have expressed its gratitude to Stanley Booth, our Criminal Justice Manager, for his deposition made in support of the Judicial Review, and to the Chief Executive and Directors of MindWise for facilitating this engagement.
The issue was the number and frequency of applications for a Mental Health Review Tribunals and the disparity between the mainland and NI and the potential impact of that difference. In principle a child under 16 years of age could potentially be held in hospital for mental health treatment up to 5 months longer in NI than in England and Wales.
This is because in England and Wales two applications could be made within weeks of each other or even days apart, but in Northern Ireland only ONE review is permitted in any 6 month period, so if is a person fails to secure a discharge from care at application they are unable to be considered again because they have used up their one application within any 6 month period.
This could affect their future employment or travel, because the application for a hearing during the initial 14 day assessment if successful is not required to be disclosed to employers, insures, visa applications, but if made during the treatment period that must be disclosed to employers so it may affect a young person future.
This is MindWise standing up for its service users.