This strategy included (but was not limited to):
- the Tribunal’s registry providing a back-up service for sending links to patients and their support people to participate in hearings and related support (such as transferring a patient into the hearing via phone or Microsoft Teams) and
- an amendment to Practice Note 1 (covering Tribunal documents and attendance requirements) to allow specified alternatives to providing a fresh report for every hearing where staff absences have impacted hearing preparation.
The strategy also made provision for managing any missed hearings according to the priority rankings that were used in the first phase of the pandemic, however this scenario did not arise, and it was not necessary to implement that strategy.
The Tribunal has decided to end the temporary changes from 6 March 2023 (including removing the amendment to Practice Note 1) following feedback from mental health services that they are no longer necessary in the current operating environment.