Approved Medical Practitioners - Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act, 2003 Training Manual

Training material for Approved Medical Practitioners

Section 6. Suspension of Compulsory Measures

Suspension of an EDC (Section 41)

An EDC can be suspended using Section 41, although the detention does not need to be suspended to allow patients to be transferred for emergency medical investigations and treatment. Suspending an EDC would be unusual, given its brief timescale.

Suspension of an STDC (Section 53)

An STDC can be suspended by the responsible medical officer completing Section 53. The suspension certificate can last for any period stipulated by the responsible medical officer, and conditions may be attached to allow, for example, a suspension to occur while the patient is at home on pass. Again, suspension of an STDC is not required to access emergency treatment for physical disorder.

Revoking suspension of a detention certificate (Section 54)

Suspension of a detention certificate may be revoked through Section 54. The responsible medical officer must then notify:

  • The patient
  • Named person
  • MHO
  • Mental Welfare Commission
  • Any person authorised to keep the patient in their charge.

Suspension of CTOs and interim CTOs (Sections 127 and 128)

The responsible medical officer can suspend any of the compulsory measures in the CTO and the hospital detention requirement specified in an interim CTO.

Section 127 allows suspension of hospital detention for up to six months (a significant change from the terms of the 1984 Act). The expiry of the suspension certificate cannot be later than the expiry of the treatment order or interim order, and conditions (such as specifying the place of residence) can be attached to a suspension certificate. The responsible medical officer remains responsible for the patient's care during a suspension certificate.

If the suspension certificate is for longer than 28 days, the responsible medical officer must notify (write to) the following before the certificate is granted:

  • The patient
  • Named person
  • GP
  • MHO.

A suspension certificate allowing transfer to a second hospital for emergency treatment for a physical disorder should be granted for a patient under a compulsory or interim CTO (unlike the EDC and STDC). The patient can only be detained in the second hospital if the hospital is a residence condition specified in the suspension certificate.

Compulsory measures specified in a CTO (other than hospital detention) may be suspended by using Section 128, provided the suspension is no longer than three months.

Prior to granting a suspension certificate under Section 128, the responsible medical officer must notify (write to) the following of their intention:

  • The patient
  • Named person
  • The MHO.

Additionally, the responsible medical officer must notify the Mental Welfare Commission within 14 days of the reasons behind and duration of the suspension certification under Section 128.

Revoking suspension of a CTO and interim CTO (Section 129)

A suspension certificate granted under Section 127 or 128 can be revoked by using Section 129. If this occurs, the patient, named person, MHO and GP should be notified as soon as possible, and the Mental Welfare Commission should be notified within 14 days.

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