This week Tom Battarbee, Manager of Mental Health for the Swain & Co Liverpool office, helped a restricted patient obtain a transfer from high secure hospital to medium security.
This patient had made excellent progress and was ready to transfer down to conditions of medium security in order to continue his progress towards discharge. However he then came up against a significant delay caused by a chronic shortage of spaces in medium secure units.
As has recently been highlighted by the BBC, there is unfortunately a chronic lack of bed-space at secure units. Only this week a prisoner at HMP Preston reportedly self-harmed after it emerged that there was no bedspace available for him anywhere in the country. This is obviously very concerning and a matter that the team at Swain & Co tackle on a regular basis.
The key assistance Swain & Co provided in this particular case was maintaining pressure on those involved in organising the transfer both at the hospital and Ministry of Justice. This meant that our client was able to transfer to a medium secure unit as soon as a space became available. It also highlights how important it is to press clinical teams for early referrals to gatekeepers to avoid unnecessary delays in the transfer process.
Happily this client is now able to continue to build their case for discharge in conditions of lower security.
‘This shows the importance continuing to chase the progress of a transfer in order to ensure that a transfer takes place in a timely manner. We are hearing from more and more patients who are experiencing excessive delays in transfer which can be very stressful when they stall the progress a patient has made towards their discharge’.
Tom Battarbee and his team of Mental Health lawyers continue to secure excellent results for their clients. They work every day to achieve greater freedoms for their clients and to “empower people to make positive change”. If you, a family member or a friend need legal advice, assistance or representation in relation to any aspect of detention under the Mental Health Act, transfer from prison, nearest relative issues, please contact 0151 255 2286 now.