Guide for medical practitioners on the granting of a short-term detention certificate under section 44 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
Note 1: Only an approved medical practitioner may grant a short-term detention certificate (i.e. a medical practitioner approved under section 22 of the Act).
Note 2: Section 328(1) of the Act defines "mental disorder" as "mental illness, personality disorder or learning disability, however alone of sexual orientation; sexual deviancy; trans-sexualism; transvestism; dependence on, or use of alcohol or drugs; behaviour that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to an other person; or acting as no prudent person would act.
Note 3: The relevant provisions are set out at section 44(2) of the Act. They are: a short-term detention certificate; an extension certificate issued under section 47 of the Act pending an application for a CTO; section 68 of the Act (i.e. the extension to the detention period authorised once a CTO application has been submitted to the Tribunal); a certificate granted under sections 114(2) or 115(2) of the Act (i.e. a certificate issued subsequent to a patient's non-compliance with the terms of a community-based interim CTO or a CTO);
Note 4: [ DN - conflict of interest material to be added once the regs/Code on this point are finalised.]
Note 5: [ DN - Add best practice material about consulting the MHO and other members of the multi-disciplinary team etc depending on the final text of the Code.]
Note 6: A short-term detention certificate can only be granted if you have consulted the patient's named person about the proposed granting of the certificate, where it was practicable to do so, and if you have had regard to their views.
Note 7: You should ask the MHO whose consent you have sought to the granting of the certificate about the identity of the patient's named person. Section 45(1) of the Act places that MHO under a duty to interview the patient and to ascertain the named and address of the patient's named person before s/he consents to the granting of the certificate, where it is practicable to do so. If the MHO cannot carry out these duties, s/he must provide you within 7 days of you consulting him/her with a copy of a record which states the steps which s/he took in trying to carry out these duties.
Note 8: A valid short-term detention certificate can be issued on any document if form [x] is not available. However, it is strongly recommended that form [x] be used in all circumstances. Where form [x] is not used, a valid short-term detention certificate must state the practitioner's reasons for believing the conditions mentioned at point 1 of the blue box overleaf to be met and must be signed by the practitioner.
Note 9: The short-term detention certificate must be completed within 3 days of the completion of the medical examination.
Note 10: The short-term detention certificate authorises, first, the patient's transfer to hospital within 3 days of the certificate being granted [ DN - re-draft once wording of Code on the timescales has been finalised]; and, secondly, the patient's detention in hospital for 28 days.
Note 11: Section 44(6) of the Act states that the patient's detention in hospital if only authorised if the certificate is given to the managers of the hospital before the patient is admitted to hospital under the authority of the certificate. If the patient is already in hospital when the certificate is granted, then the certificate must be given to the hospital managers as soon as practicable after it was granted.
The purpose of this leaflet is to act as a guide only. It does not provide full and comprehensive coverage of everything you ought to know about short-term detention. For further and fuller information, please consult the Act and its Code of Practice