Responsibilities in giving evidence to mental health tribunals

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Practitioners do not usually receive training on how to give evidence at mental health tribunals, but a nurse's report to the tribunal needs to be full, accurate and up to date. Inaccurate or non-evidence-based information that is not shared with and agreed to by the patient could seriously damage trust between parties, and impede proceedings. When providing a report the challenge for the nurse is how to include sensitive yet significant information without alienating the patient or relatives, or risking serious consequences. This article describes how the process of providing written and oral evidence to a tribunal can promote the therapeutic relationship when transparency and openness are shown.

Soo Lee and Corinne Singer offer advice on how to make a valuable contribution when supporting the rights of a patient

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