RHCT Legal

020 7923 9583 / mail@rhctlegal.co.uk

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Mental Health Law

This includes:


All solicitors at the firm have experience of mental health work and most are members of the Law Society’s Accreditation Scheme. Experience has shown us that of those detained under the civil sections of the Mental Health Act approximately 5% are discharged as a direct result of interventions by their Nearest Relative and around 25% of patients are discharged at or just before a First-tier (Mental Health) Tribunal. In other words, legal intervention can significantly improve your chances of being discharged earlier than you otherwise would have been. In our experience, good preparation and planning are the secrets of effective representation. All clients are provided with personalised written advice tailored to their own circumstances and needs.


Over the years, we have pursued many injustices and points of law through the courts. Some of the most notable of these include:


R v Uxbridge County Court ex p. Binns [2000] MHLR 179: Clarified the law in relation to the powers of the County Court to make orders displacing a nearest relative.


R (on the application of B) v Mental Health Review Tribunal [2003] EWHC 815(Admin): Clarified that it was lawful for a tribunal to delay the date of discharge in a case where the nearest relative has made the application provided the reason for the deferment relates to arrangements that reduce the risk of the patient behaving dangerously.


R (TF) v Sec of State for Justice [2008] EWCA Civ 1457 (Appeal Court): Court held that the Secretary of State had acted unlawfully in transferring a convicted prisoner to hospital at the end of his sentence without reasonably being satisfied that the transfer was medically justified.


Bostridge v Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust [2014] EWCA Civ 1005: The firm acted for Mr Bostridge who had been unlawfully detained for 442 days following the unlawful imposition of a Community Treatment Order. Although the Trust accepted liability for falsely imprisoning Mr Bostridge, they argued that only nominal damages were available as the Claimant would probably have been detained in any event and therefore suffered no loss. Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal found that, notwithstanding that fundamental protections under the Mental Health Act had been breached, where no loss is suffered vindicatory damages are not available and damages can only be nominal.