Another Swain & Co Client Secures Their Conditional Discharge From Hospital – The Importance of Building A Case For Discharge
This week Tom Battarbee, Manager of Mental Health for the Swain & Co Liverpool office, helped a patient at a low security hospital in Warrington, secure conditional discharge.
This patient received a hospital order on 02 July 2012. When Tom first started acting for his client at the start of 2015, the patients’ mental health was very stable but the patient was understandably frustrated about the length of time that had been spent in Hospital.
Tom assisted by providing representation at a Mental Health Tribunal in early 2015. The Tribunal accepted the argument that the patient no longer required conditions of low security and made a non-statutory recommendation that his client should be transferred to a rehabilitation hospital.
This transfer did not happen. The key assistance Swain & Co provided was maintaining pressure on the Responsibility Authority. Ultimately Tom managed to persuade the clinical team that in light of the extensive unescorted leave his client had been taking and the progress made since the earlier Tribunal, a rehabilitation hospital was no longer necessary and the patient could be safely discharged to supported accommodation in the community. Tom then assisted his client by pressurising the Responsible Authority to find suitable accommodation and ensuring that sufficient levels of leave prior to Tribunal were used so the discharge plan had been thoroughly tested. This week the Mental Health Tribunal agreed to the patients conditional discharge.
‘This shows the importance of the work that needs to be done in building a case so that by the time of the Tribunal everything is in place for discharge. The crucial benefit for my client is that they have now been discharged with immediate effect instead of facing the prospect of 12-18 months in a rehabilitation unit preparing for this eventuality. This result also highlights that whilst “step downs” from low secure units to rehabilitation units can be beneficial in some instances they are not always necessary and fortunately the Tribunal saw the wisdom of this argument in this particular case’.