R v Oxfordshire Mental Health NHS Trust ex p H (judgment 6 March 2002) (QBD)

The client, ‘H’, judicially reviewed the legality of his re-detention under s3 MHA 1983 shortly after his discharge from hospital. He had been a s37 patient and an MHRT concluded that H was not treatable and did not fulfil the statutory criteria justifying continued detention under s37.

After a transfer to a hospital in a different area, pending aftercare being arranged, H became  increasingly agitated, distressed and disturbed, and two s12 doctors made the necessary recommendations for his (re)detention under s3.

Confirming earlier case law, the court held that the tribunal’s decision was a relevant consideration, coming as soon as it had, prior to the doctors’ decision to section the patient. But the MHRT could not have envisaged such a sharp deterioration in condition. An adverse reaction to imminent release could not be ignored. Summary reasons for the doctors’ views as clinicians were all that is required on the form, and the client’s right to apply to the hospital managers and tribunal for discharge, was not prejudiced by that amount of reasoning.

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