The guidance covers work with restricted patients detained in hospital and those discharged into the community. It also covers transfers from prison to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Restricted patients are mentally disordered offenders who are detained in hospital for treatment and who are subject to special controls by the Justice Secretary due to the level of risk they pose. These controls include permission for community leave, transfer to another hospital, discharge and recall to hospital. The Mental Health Casework Section takes these decisions on behalf of the Justice Secretary.
Detained patients are usually treated in secure hospitals, and will be given gradual access to the community as part of their rehabilitation only when it is safe to do so. Detained patients have access to the independent First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health), which has a statutory duty to discharge patients who no longer meet the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Conditionally discharged patients are generally supervised in the community by a psychiatrist and a social worker. The Mental Health Casework Section receives regular reports from both supervisors. These patients can be recalled to hospital if they pose a risk to others as a result of their mental disorder (they cannot be recalled simply for breaching their conditions).
The Mental Health Casework Section (MHCS) will only share information where it is in the public interest to do so, or there is a statutory requirement. We aim to ensure that our processing and sharing of information is fair and complies with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) where applicable.
MHCS will ensure that the six data protection principles set out in Chapter 2, Article 5 of the UK GDPR and Sections 35 to 40 of Data Protection Act (DPA) are complied with in relation to the processing of information. Most of the information we share falls under Part 3 of the DPA and we will only divulge confidential personal information if it is necessary to do so in order to discharge our responsibilities and/or obligations under the Mental Health Act 1983, prevent crime and protect the public.
Forms and Guidance: Working with Restricted Patients
This guidance is correct at the time of publishing and will be reviewed on a yearly basis. If you have any queries regarding the validity of the information within the guidance documents, please contact MHCSCPST@justice.gov.uk for advice.