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Social circumstances reports presented to mental health review tribunals

Keith Lewis (Arnold Lodge, Leicester)

The British Journal of Forensic Practice

ISSN: 1463-6646

Article publication date: 1 February 2006



This paper describes the social circumstances report, written for the MHRT in an historical setting, and incorporates a small‐scale audit to determine the effect of implementing national guidelines in July 2002. Sixty reports were audited ‐ thirty in the period immediately before the introduction of national guidelines, and thirty immediately following the introduction of national guidelines. These reports concerned only patients subject to a hospital order with restriction under Section 37/41 of the Mental Health Act 1983. National guidelines comprised 102 individual sub‐headings within 17 main headings. Each report was scored using these guidelines as a checklist. Results show that compliance as measured by the national guidelines significantly improved following their circulation.Very little previous research has been undertaken in this area and only by researchers from the legal profession. Further research may need to be undertaken by social work professionals themselves, and by local authorities, which may encourage others in the profession to build on this knowledge. At present the process appears to be exclusively a legal interest rather than a joint interest with social care.



Lewis, K. (2006), "Social circumstances reports presented to mental health review tribunals", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 31-37.



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