The Tribunal requires a comprehensive medical report addressing the s 25 criteria and the s 394(1) mandatory considerations at least 3 days prior to a patient’s hearing. Doctors preparing medical reports for hearings are requested to use the Tribunal’s report template. For guidance notes on completing the report template click here.
The doctor must also provide a copy of the report to, and discuss it with, the patient at least 3 days prior to a patient’s hearing. It is the role of the treating team, not the Tribunal, to ensure that the patient is provided with a copy of the report within this time frame. If this does not occur, the Tribunal may be required to adjourn the hearing because the patient has not had the opportunity to consider and take advice on the contents of the report. This is distressing for the patient, as well as a waste of time and resources for everyone involved.
The Tribunal’s medical report template has been prepared by Tribunal psychiatrist members in consultation with treating psychiatrists throughout WA. It provides everything the Tribunal needs to know in the hearing. ‘Free-form’ style reports frequently do not address the relevant factors in sufficient detail to enable the Tribunal to make a decision. This prolongs the hearing, and makes the process more distressing for patients. Where the Tribunal’s medical report template is provided and discussed with patients in advance, less discussion of the medical evidence is needed during the hearing.
Further information for preparing medical reports is set out below:
Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines required under Section 547 of the Mental Health Act 2014
Extracts from s25 MHA for medical reports
Page reviewed 13 March 2023