An authorised psychiatrist or the chief psychiatrist can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for an order to:
- transfer a person subject to an inpatient temporary treatment order, or inpatient treatment order to an interstate mental health facility; or
- transfer responsibility for the treatment of a person subject to a community temporary treatment order or community treatment order to an interstate mental health facility.
The Tribunal can make an order when:
a) the transfer is necessary for the person's treatment
b) the person does not have capacity to give informed consent or does not consent to the transfer
c) the transfer is permitted by or under a corresponding law, and
d) the interstate authority for the interstate mental health facility agrees to the transfer.
What does capacity to give informed consent mean?
A person has capacity to give informed consent if they are able to:
- understand the information they are given
- remember that information
- use or weigh that information in deciding whether or not to consent, and
- communicate the decision by speech, gestures or any other means.
What will the Tribunal decide?
The Mental Health Tribunal must:
- make an interstate transfer of treatment order authorising the transfer if the criteria above are met, or
- refuse to make an interstate transfer of treatment order (refuse to authorise the transfer) if it is not satisfied the above criteria are met.
How can the authorised or chief psychiatrist apply to the Tribunal?
The authorised psychiatrist or chief psychiatrist can apply to the Tribunal for an interstate transfer by completing the MHWA 171 Interstate transfer of compulsory patient without consent form and sending it to the Tribunal by:
Fax: (03) 9032 3223
Post: Level 30, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
What the health service must do
Write a report for the patient and the Tribunal
The health service must complete a report for the Tribunal hearing and provide copies to the Tribunal and the patient at least 2 business days before the Tribunal hearing.
The report should be written using the Tribunal’s Report for application for interstate transfer (MHT 41) template.
Provide other relevant documents
In addition to the report template the health service must also provide:
- Evidence of the agreement with the interstate mental health service that would receive responsibility for the patient’s treatment, or written confirmation of the agreement.
- Copies of relevant orders that establish the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. These are the current order to which the patient is subject and, if the patient is subject to a temporary treatment order, the assessment order.
- The other documents specified in Practice Note 4, being:
- Latest discharge or admission summaries
- Consultant notes in date order for the last three reviews
- Notes from registrar/medical officer reviews in date order during the three months prior to the hearing
- Notes from case manager reviews in date order during the three months prior to the hearing
- Nursing notes for up to a month preceding a hearing held during an inpatient admission
- Advance Statement of Preferences
- Nominated Support Person form
- Second psychiatric opinion report
- Correspondence from private/specialist practitioners or general practitioners
- Forensic, social work, occupational therapy, psychological and neuropsychological reports
- Any reports related to additional therapeutic interventions offered by the service
- Information about non-clinical or community supports involved in the person's care
- CMI records
- Any other documents which the treating team believes are relevant to the hearing.
These documents should also be made available to the patient at least 2 business days before the hearing.
Attend the Tribunal hearing
The authorised psychiatrist making the application (or their delegate) must attend the hearing.
Other staff involved in the patient’s treatment such as medical officers and the case manager are also strongly encouraged to attend.
The Tribunal will notify parties of the hearing and how they can participate. The health service should support the patient to participate.
How the patient can prepare for the hearing
The patient can prepare for the hearing by:
- getting someone to help them prepare for and/or attend the hearing with them like a family member, friend, lawyer or advocate (see Find someone to help)
- reading the report prepared for the hearing
- planning what they want to say about whether the transfer is necessary for their assessment and treatment.
The health service should support the patient to prepare for the hearing.