LA0844 - Mental Health

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SYNOPSIS OF MODULE

This module is one of the electives available to students during Stage 2 of the Legal Practice Course and forms part of the General Practice Route elective group.

The aim of the module is to provide students with both an understanding of the law of relevance to the detention and treatment of those believed to be suffering from a mental disorder, and an appreciation of the application of the range of legal provisions in practice.

Throughout the course the diverse legal provisions will be illustrated by practical scenarios. Students will be encouraged to develop practical skills of interviewing, researching, drafting and advocacy.

The module will be delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, directed and independent learning. The module will be assessed by examination.

INDICATIVE READING LIST OR OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES

Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) and the associated Code of Practice and Guide
Mental Capacity Act 2005 (as amended) and the associated Code of Practice
Mental Health Act Manual – Jones – Sweet and Maxwell – 2017
Mental Health Law – Policy and Practice – Bartlett & Sandland – OUP – 2013
Mental Health – The New Law – Fennell – Jordans – 2007
Blackstones Guide to the Mental Health Act 2007 – Bowen – OUP – 2008
International Journal of Mental Health Law – Northumbria Law Press – x2 issues per annum
Mental Health Law Reports – Southside Publishing
Detailed Lecture Notes
E-learning Portal Site – on which a range of materials will be provided to facilitate directed learning.

OUTLINE SYLLABUS

Element 1: Care and treatment of the ‘incapable’ patient

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of statutory provisions in respect of the care and treatment of patients who by reason of mental disorder are incapable of making decision for themselves, and should be able to

1. understand the provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, in particular its principles, the meaning of ‘incapacity’, the concept of ‘best interests’, and the provisions generally of relevance to ‘acts of care and treatment’;

2. appreciate the role of the Court of Protection, and the powers of attorneys acting under Lasting Powers of Attorney and deputies appointed by the Court;

3. advise about the ‘deprivation of liberty’ safeguards introduced in April 2009 (including the distinction between ‘deprivation’ and ‘restriction’ of liberty).

Element 2: Compulsory detention

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of statutory provisions in respect of the compulsory detention in hospital of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder, and should be able to:

1. understand the statutory definitions of ‘mental disorder’ and ‘learning disability’;

2. distinguish and understand the statutory roles of the Responsible Clinician, the Approved Clinician, the Nearest Relative, the Approved Mental Health Professional, the Hospital Managers, the Ministry of Justice and the Independent Mental Health Advocate;

3. advise on the law and procedure in respect of ‘civil’ admissions for assessment, or for treatment, or in an emergency;

4. understand the law concerning ‘holding’ powers;

5. understand the law concerning renewal of the statutory authority to detain for treatment;

Element 3: Community Care Provisions

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of statutory provisions in respect of compulsory provisions for care in the community of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder, and should be able to

1. research and advise on the statutory provisions in respect of leave from hospital of those liable to be detained;

2. research and advise on the legal provisions associated with guardianship andcommunity treatment orders.;

3. understand the concept of the Care Programme Approach;

4. advise on the after-care responsibilities arising from section 117 Mental Health Act 1983.

Element 4: Treatment

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of statutory provisions in respect of the treatment of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder, and should be able to

1. appreciate the wide statutory definition of ‘treatment’;

2. develop a basic understanding of common treatments for mental disorders;

3. understand and advise on the relevant provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005;

4. understand and advise on the provisions contained within Part 4 Mental Health Act 1983;

5. understand the ‘availability of appropriate treatment’ test;

6. appreciate the role of the ‘Second Opinion Appointed Doctor’.

Element 5: Discharge

Students should develop a knowledge and understanding of statutory provisions in respect of discharge from being liable to the compulsory provisions (both when in hospital and in the community) contained within the Mental Health Act 1983, and should be able to

1. understand the discharge powers of the responsible clinician, the hospital managers, the nearest relative, the Secretary of State for Justice and the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT);

2. appreciate the ‘routes’ by which cases come to be considered at MHTs;

3. understand the role of the legal representative with regard to his/her role at MHT hearings, including the taking of instructions and particular issues relevant to interviewing a patient suffering from a mental disorder , possible professional conduct issues such as conflicts of interest, funding, and preparation of the case;

4. understand the particular advocacy issues relevant to the Law Society guidelines for representation at MHTs

5. understand both the powers and duties of MHTs, and the procedures adopted by them, including an understanding of the MHRT Rules;

6. advise on means of challenging a decision of the MHT;

7. understand the role of theCare Quality Commission.

AIMS OF MODULE

This elective aims to provide students with an appreciation of the law which forms the basis of compulsory treatment, care and detention of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder. It aims to inform students about the powers and duties of those with responsibility for caring for and treating those with mental disorders, both professionals and family members. It aims to inform about patients’ rights and statutory safeguards.

The content of the elective will be relevant to those students who might be required in the future to advise, assist and represent (1) patients and their families; (2) professionals employed by local authorities; (3) professionals employed by NHSbodies; (4) professionals employed in the private sector.

The elective will encourage students to develop further the skills of interviewing, practical research, drafting and advocacy. It will also demand the acquisition of understanding and appreciation of the relevance and significance of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights to the care and treatment of those deemed to be suffering from mental disorders.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completion of the Mental Health Law vocational elective, students should have a good and critical understanding of the law of relevance to the care, treatment and detention of those who are believed to be suffering from a mental disorder. At the conclusion of the elective, students should be able to demonstrate:

1. an understanding of the law and practice of relevance to the care and treatment of those incapable, by reason of mental disorder, of making decisions for themselves;

2. an understanding of the law and practice associated with the ‘civil’ process resulting in the compulsory detention in hospital of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder;

3. an understanding of the law and practice associated with the community care provisions of guardianship and community treatment orders. 5. an understanding of the law and practice associated with statutory and common law provisions in respect of compulsory treatment of those believed to be suffering from mental disorder;

6. an understanding of legal provisions in respect of discharge from liability to be detained, including the role of the Mental Health Tribunal;

7. an appreciation of how the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights affect those believed to be suffering from mental disorder;

8. an ability to provide appropriate legal advice on all aspects of detention and treatment both to patients and professionals involved in their care;

9. an ability to plan and conduct for a patient, an application to a Mental Health Tribunal for the discharge from compulsory provisions (either in hospital or in the community) as set out within the Mental Health Act 1983.

PREREQUSITES

NONE

COREQUISITES

NONE

DISTANCE LEARNING DELIVERY

N/A

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY

The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic and the associated ‘black letter’ law. They will place these principles and legal provisions in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios.

The small group sessions (which will again be delivered to the entire module cohort consisting of between 16 – 20 students), will, in conjunction with the directed and independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios. For example, some of the sessions will include the opportunity to participate in role play to appreciate the respective positions of the various professionals and family members and carers involved in the admission and treatment processes. Other sessions will require problem solving skills to identify key factors of relevance to issues such as compulsory treatment and care in the community, or discharge from compulsory measures. Where appropriate to the subject area, students will be required to analyse and critique relevant legal material, such as primary and secondary legislation and judgments from the High Court and above.

Students will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative self test and multiple choice questions. Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions. Examples of independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material.

ASSESSMENT STRATEGY

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Summative assessment will be provided by an examination made up of a one hour closed book multiple choice paper plus a two hour open book practical paper based on advance documents. The use of advance documents allows a greater opportunity to test knowledge and application in the examination and allows greater use of realistic legal scenarios.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Formative assessment will be provided by a combination of self test questions and multiple choice questions which students will complete through the module e-learning portal site and in small group sessions.

Students will also have the opportunity to sit a mock open book examination paper.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

The multiple choice questions will be undertaken in a small group session and feedback given during this session. Detailed answers to the self test questions and feedback on the mock examination will be given via the e-learning portal and in both large and small group sessions.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE

NONE

Course info

Credits 1

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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