Amendments to the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008

Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (First-tier Tribunal)TribunalsPractice Guidance

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For patients detained under section 2 the hearing must take place within 7 days of receipt of the application by the tribunal office in Leicester.

For non restricted patients the hearing will normally take place within 8 weeks.

For restricted patients the hearing will normally take place within 16 weeks.

If a pre-hearing examination is wanted please use Form T113/CMR1 make the request. This form can also be used for other pre-hearing requests, such as a postponement. Once a date has been fixed it cannot be changed without very good reasons. A judge’s view will be sought as to whether the change of date request should be granted.

Patients aged 18 or over that are subject to a Community Treatment Order (CTO) and have their cases referred to the tribunal may state in writing that they do not want to attend or be represented at a hearing of the reference, in which case the tribunal can dispense with a hearing and a preliminary examination by the tribunal doctor. The tribunal will, however, still call for full reports so that they can decide the case on the papers.


From 6 April 2014 there are new rules relating to pre-hearing examinations of the patient by the tribunal doctor. The Chamber President’s guidance provides full details.

The hearing

The tribunal panel is composed of a judge and two members, one of which will be a medical specialist. The tribunal judge will chair the proceedings.

The patient, their hospital doctor and social worker will also be at the hearing. If the patient or their representative has provided full details of the patients nearest relative/next of kin, then they too will be invited to attend the hearing.

Hearings will take place within the hospital in an informal setting.

The hearing is conducted in private unless the patient requests a public hearing and the tribunal accepts the request. The tribunal will seek to avoid formality to help put the patient at ease. Normally the patient will be present throughout the hearing, unless one of the parties requests otherwise. If the tribunal agrees with the request, and accepts that the presence of the patient at a particular stage will adversely affect the patient’s health or the welfare of the patient or others, the patient’s representative will be entitled to be present throughout the hearing.

The tribunal has the power to adjourn a hearing. This may be for further information in the form of reports or for a witness to attend a reconvened hearing. Directions may be made as to when and how the information should be provided, and for the issuing of a witness summons if necessary. A tribunal cannot adjourn to monitor a patient’s progress.

Updated: Wednesday, 6 August 2014