People who are subject to detention or community treatment orders under the Mental Health Act can ask for their case to be reviewed by the Hospital Managers for possible discharge. The term Hospital Managers is used in the Mental Health Act to describe the organisation, so here this is East London NHS Foundation Trust.
This power cannot be exercised by any employee of the organisation and so East London NHS Foundation Trust has a number of people it can call upon to act on its behalf; these people are called Associate Hospital Managers.
What Are Associate Hospital Managers?
Associate Hospital Managers are volunteers who are formally appointed by the Trust Board and act on its behalf.
They have a very important role to play in the discharge of patients who have been detained or made subject to community powers under the Mental Health Act 1983.
They are not paid but receive allowances for the sessions they attend. They are part-time. They are not an employee of the organisation and are not allowed to have any financial interest in it.
Associate Hospital Managers meet quarterly in the Trust Board Mental Health Act Sub-Committee. It is chaired by a Non-Executive Director.
Associate Hospital Managers report to and are managed by the Associate Director of Mental Health Law. They are accountable to the Trust Board.
Are you one of our Associate Hospital Managers?
If you are, you will have been appointed by the Board of East London NHS Foundation Trust.
You are part of a panel who can decide that a patient be discharged from detention under certain sections of the Mental Health Act and Community Treatment Orders (CTOs), if three panel members agree. Non-Executive Directors can also be part of this panel.
Decisions an Associate Hospital Manager Will Be Involved In
A patient who is detained under the Mental Health Act or a CTO can request to have their legal status reviewed. They don't have to have a legal representative but are encouraged to do so. They may also ask for support from a friend, a relative or a member of an advocacy service.
Associate Hospital Managers attend the patient's hearing, together with other panel members.
Other people attend and present their evidence at the hearing too, for example the Responsible Clinician, an Approved Mental Health Professional, a Care Co-ordinator, any other professional from the relevant ward or community team. If necessary an interpreter may be present too.
Once all the evidence has been considered, the panel arrives at their decision which is communicated to the patient verbally and in writing.
How to Become an Associate Hospital Manager
You do not have to have any specific qualification. The Trust will train you for your role.
On average you will need to dedicate between 4 and 12 hours per month to your role. The sessions you are asked to attend take place between Monday and Friday.
For more information about the role and vacancies please contact MentalHealthLaw@elft.nhs.uk
You can find out more about the Mental Health Act 1983 here.