Aug 12, 2019 by Foresight

Mental Health Tribunals & the Role of a Psychiatric Expert Witness

In order for someone to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act of 1983, they have to fulfil certain criteria. An individual can be sectioned if they need urgent treatment for a mental health problem, if they are a risk to themselves or someone else, or if they need to be monitored regularly because of potent medication. Only health professionals such as psychiatric expert witnesses are qualified to make this decision and will do so only after a thorough assessment. The same applies when it comes to discharging patients; the psychiatric expert witness will examine the patient to determine if they satisfy the statutory criteria for discharge.

This examination is done by a Mental Health Tribunal which is a formal meeting where an independent panel of professionals meet to discuss if someone can be discharged from their section. The panel comprises of three members: a judge, a lay person and a medical member. We specialise in providing the psychiatric expert witness who fulfils the role of the medical member. All Mental Health Tribunals require an independent expert opinion from someone who specialises in mental health treatment.

A psychiatric report from a psychiatric expert witness provided by Foresight will ensure that a balanced judgement is made that is in the best interests of the individual and the public. Through in-depth discussions with the individual, they will assess their mental health, how well they’re recovering and how well they’ve responded to treatment. They also examine medical reports and make sense of their psychological issues in order to decide if they still fit the conditions for being section or if they should be discharged. Psychiatric expert witnesses play a vital role in ensuring that a person is only detained in keeping with the law and ensuring that all patients are fairly represented at the tribunal.

We provide psychiatric expert witnesses with a wealth of experience in mental health and court proceedings. If you’re looking for a psychiatric report for the court or you’re working in court cases involving mental illness, our psychiatrist expert witnesses are available to assist. Our psychiatric expert witnesses can provide reports in just two weeks (sometimes quicker!) from receipt of formal instruction and can also attend tribunals. Save time searching for an expert witness by leaving it up to us; contact one of our team here for a selection of the UK’s best psychiatric expert witness professionals and a fully managed process from briefing to report submission. Foresight prides itself on always delivering on-time and on-budget.



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