Title: Admission of offenders to an external Mental Health Facility
Category: Safety and Security
Implement Date: 3 March 2009
Application: Custodial Operations/ Offender Health Services
Appendices and Forms
|1.3||Legal requirements for documentation|
|1.4||Transfer to an authorised mental health facility|
|2.||Change of Legal Status|
|2.1||Changes in Circumstances|
|3||Return to custody - patients under custodian's assessment authorities|
|4||Notification of Next of Kin or offender contact person|
To facilitate and provide continuity of mental health care, including transfers to external Mental Health facilities, for offenders who have been clinically assessed as requiring specialist mental health treatment.
This procedure covers the assessment, treatment, admission and return of offenders to an authorised mental health facility.
Medical records must not accompany offenders to an external mental health facility.
Offender Health Service staff must ensure that-
Refer procedure - Transfer of Offenders
If an offender is examined by a doctor or an authorised mental health practitioner (Queensland Health) and the examiner is satisfied that the person meets the criteria for involuntary assessment, as outlined in the Mental Health Act 2000, a Recommendation for Assessment may be made.
The nurse unit manager or the senior nurse on duty will notify the General Manager or his/her nominee as soon as a Recommendation for Assessment has been completed.
Once the Recommendation for Assessment is made, an Agreement for Assessment must be sought from an appropriate authorised mental health service. Refer Mental Health Act 2000, Part 2 Requirements for involuntary assessment, ss 16-21
Each Offender Health Service must have the contact details for the administrators of authorised mental health services.
* NB - The administrator of an authorised mental health service will only sign an agreement if they can manage the patient.
Following the completion of the Recommendation for Assessment and when an Agreement for Assessment is in place, all the relevant information is to be conveyed to the General Manager or his/her nominee.
The General Manager or his/her nominee is required to complete a Custodian's Assessment Authority, thus transferring the offender into the legal custody of Queensland Health.
The authority must state the name of the service where the assessment will be carried out (ie the service that provided the agreement).
Refer Mental Health Act 2000, Part 3 - Procedures leading to involuntary assessment ss 25-32
The authority authorises police or corrective service officers to transport the person as soon as practicable (but within 7 days) to the in-patient mental health service stated on the order.
*NB Please ensure Sentence Management within the Queensland Corrective Service (QCS) facility is notified when arranging an Involuntary Mental Health Transfer.
The General Manager or his/her nominee need to make decisions on operational grounds and in accordance with QCS procedure - Transfer of Offenders.
The offender's property, that is clothing and all personal effects, including radio, cassette etc, must be transferred with the offender to the authorised mental health service (refer procedure - Property of Offenders).
A copy of each form must be placed in the offender's medical record and the offender management file. Original forms must be transferred with the offender to the authorised mental health facility.
The offender's medical record must remain at the Offender Health Service within the transferring corrective services facility.
A referral letter or discharge summary must accompany the offender providing full clinical assessment details of the current episode, any past relevant medical history, current medications, known allergies and any other relevant material that could impact on the provision of health care for the offender.
When an offender is transferred to an authorised mental health service, the following documentation is required by the authorised mental health service-
Offenders may have access to private medical practitioners and private medical treatment at their own expense. This will also include associated costs such as transport and corrective services officers escorting the offender. Refer procedure - Private Medical Treatment
The number of corrective services officers required will depend on the offender's classification. Refer procedure - Escort of Offenders (in-confidence); appendices - Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (Location) (in-confidence); Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (Method QCS) (in-confidence)
Offenders may apply in writing for private medical treatment by a doctor or psychologist nominated by them in accordance with Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) s 22.
The chief executive or delegate may give approval for an offender to be treated by a private medical practitioner if satisfied -
Offenders and doctors must be aware that offenders in a high or low security facility do not have Medicare cards or Medicare numbers and are therefore ineligible for any Medicare reimbursement.
Once the offender has been received into the authorised mental health service, the patient becomes a classified patient under the Mental Health Act 2000 and the administrator of that service assumes legal custody to detain the patient within the health service facility.
The authorised Mental Health facility must notify the general manager/ nominee of the QCS transferring facility of all changes of circumstances inclusive of-
Refer Mental Health Act 2000 ss 88-90A
When the patient no longer needs to be detained as a classified patient the process for returning a patient to custody is outlined below -
The general manager or nominee of the facility must notify the offender's next of kin or contact person of the offender's intended transfer to a mental health facility.
This contact information must also be provided to the mental health service accepting the transfer. This will ensure that Queensland Health staff are able to advise next of kin or the offender's contact person of any changes in the offender's mental health condition and/or when the offender is being transferred back to the corrective services facility.