Chance to support mental health services | News and events

Chance to support mental health services

Two people discussing a case

People from local communities in Norfolk and Suffolk are being invited to join an independent Committee of Associate Hospital Managers.

A panel of three Associate Hospital Managers (AHM) are responsible for considering whether a patient is still suffering from a mental disorder and whether that disorder warrants continued detention in hospital in the interests of their own health or safety or for the protection of others. They also sit on panels for Community Treatment Order patients and review Deprivation of Liberty Authorisations.

Helen Dewson, Head of Mental Health Law at NSFT, said “An Associate Hospital Manager hearing is an essential safeguard for people who are subject to the Mental Health Act.” “The panel of lay people hear all the evidence from the clinical team and the individual themselves and make their decision fairly and without bias and in accordance with the law.”

Hearings are held virtually via Microsoft Teams or a face-to-face at one of the hospital sites across Norfolk or Suffolk.

Committee members are entirely independent of the Trust, the clinical team and the hospital where the person is being detained and treated.

NSFT is keen to increase the diversity of the Associate Hospital Manager Committee.  Helen said, “We would like all areas of our community to be represented and would like to particularly encourage people form diverse backgrounds to get involved."

The panel members receive £50 renumeration per hearing . Legal training could be useful but is not essential as full training, observation and mentoring is provided.

Information sessions will be held for anyone interested in learning more about the role. Email to find out more and share the email with anyone who might be interested in applying.

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