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What is the power of a hospital during a mental health admission to contact next of kin?

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by bellbird, May 16, 2018.

  1. bellbird

    bellbird Active Member

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    Not sure if this is the right section to post in, but I am wondering if anyone knows what rights/power a hospital has in contacting next of kin when someone is admitted for a mental health crisis.
    Are there any instances in which they do have the power to contact your next of kin without consent? (obviously aside from death).
    I'm aware there may be country-specific rules, but I am curious if anyone knows anything about this in general.
     
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  3. digger

    digger I'll just have a P please, Bob Moderator Donated

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    In the UK (possibly only England and Wales, I haven't had a close look and sometimes the law is a little different in Scotland), this is probably worth a read
    Nearest relative | Mind, the mental health charity - help for mental health problems

    Nearest relative is not the same as next of kin. It specifically says next of kin have no rights under the mental health act

    There will be some differences for voluntary patients than sectioned patients.


    ETA
    This may be useful too
    Mental health law briefing 186 - Next of kin and nearest relative: what's the difference? - RadcliffesLeBrasseur
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    Swift and bellbird like this.
  4. Mach123

    Mach123 Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    I am not an expert but in my experience, they have all power. My mother was involuntary for a short time and it was because they needed space. She was not in a mental health crisis, I don't even remember what happened. All I know is when they got her in there, it was a locked ward, you had no say in what they did with you, they decided. I was like "she doesn't even belong here they told us it would be no problem." They looked at me and they were like "that's what they all say."
     
    Swift likes this.
  5. digger

    digger I'll just have a P please, Bob Moderator Donated

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    Did they contact you as next of kin in that situation @Mach123? Was it with her consent that they contacted you?
     
    Mach123 likes this.
  6. Swift

    Swift Well-Known Member

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    Sorry that this is a question you're even asking.
    Last I checked you were an Aussie?
    Te law is Swiss cheese.
    What do you want from the la
     
  7. bellbird

    bellbird Active Member

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    Kiwi, so close enough ;)
    Swiss cheese... as in like a lot of holes to fall through?
     
  8. Mach123

    Mach123 Well-Known Member Premium Member Donated

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    Yes, I was power of attorney. It was awhile ago, I don't remember everything exactly but it scared the hell out of me though I remember that because they were not listening to me at all and they certainly were not listening to my mother. She was having dementia from UTI. I don't even remember the chain of events that got her there but, like I said, that was a locked ward and they were not kidding around.
     
  9. Sideways

    Sideways I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    My experience in Australia is that public and private handle it differently.

    If you have capacity on admission, private hospitals will ask you for next of kin details, but you can indicate whether or not you consent to them being contacted. Sometimes, if you have a conversation with your admittions nurse or admitting doctor about it, they will happily set out in your file if particular people are definitely not to be contacted, and even if you want to refuse to receive calls/contact from certain people.

    In the public system? It’s usually a dog’s breakfast. Most of my oublic admissions they simply haven’t bothered, because I’ve been cognisant enough that they just leave it to me. The times I’ve been admitted completely off my tree, they have contacted whoever I had listed on my file.
     
    bellbird likes this.
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