New procedure for Tribunal applications and references

The following messages were sent to the MHLA on 20/8/10. The relevant forms and guidance were placed on the Tribunals Service’s website on the same day:

Good Morning

Please find attached new application and referral forms which have been forwarded from Judge Hinchliffe, Deputy Chamber President. These forms replace the current single form held on the website, which will be replaced this week.

Please take note of all the initial sections of the forms which spell out the information vital to the Tribunal in order to process the form promptly. If you do not use the form to send in your applications/referrals, you must include the necessary information within your alternative communication.

By Rule 32 of The Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (HESC) Rules 2008, an application or reference must, if possible, include—

(a) the name and address of the patient;

(b) if the application is made by the patient’s nearest relative, the name, address and relationship to the patient of the patient’s nearest relative;

(c) the provision under which the patient is detained, liable to be detained, subject to guardianship, a community patient or subject to after-care under supervision;

(d) whether the person making the application has appointed a representative or intends to do so, and the name and address of any representative appointed; and

(e) the name and address of the responsible authority in relation to the patient.

If you cannot provide this information, please explain why it is not possible to comply with the Rule. The additional information we ask for is required to help the tribunal to deal with the case fairly and justly, including dealing with the case in ways which are proportionate to the importance of the case, the complexity of the issues, the anticipated costs and the resources of the parties, seeking flexibility in the proceedings; ensuring that the parties are able to participate fully in the proceedings; using any special expertise of the tribunal effectively; and avoiding delay. The parties are required by Rule 2 to assist the tribunal in achieving the overriding objective, and to co-operate with the tribunal generally.

Accordingly, from 1st October 2010 any applications or referrals received without the information requested above will be returned to you as incomplete unless satisfactory reasons for not providing the requested information are given at the same time as the application/referral is submitted.

Please do not send applications in duplicate.

Karen Early

Senior Operations Manager

Tribunals Service Mental Health

PO Box 8793


Telephone: 0116 2497161

Good Morning

As part of our ongoing efforts to make improvements and ensure that the tribunal processes are as streamlined as possible we have been reviewing the applications that we have received in June and July.

We have found that between 20-30% of applications/referrals received each week during this period are duplicates. Some hospitals and solicitors are routinely sending applications by email and then following up with a posted paper copy. In some instances a 3rd copy is also being faxed to the office. This equates to approximately 125 additional and unnecessary applications received each week.

A system check needs to be made for each application received to ensure they are not duplicates and this process takes approximately 5 minutes. This equates to one team member spending a day and a half’s work dealing with the duplicates received. I am sure you will agree that this resource would be far better directed at ensuring that the overall appeal process was quicker and more efficient.

To enable us to free up this resource and direct it elsewhere I would be very grateful if you could submit a single copy of your application.

Our preference, if you have access to secure email is for applications to be submitted via email to the . If you do not have secure email then we would be grateful if applications could be posted to the office as faxed copies are not always easily read.

I would be very grateful for your assistance.

Elaine Farrin
Operations Manager – Applications, Decisions, Stats
Tel: 0116 249 4174

Fax: 0116 249 4161