informing next of kin, Question uk

N

nounandnoun

Guest
#1
hello,

psychiatry team requested to contact next of kin to discuss me, my situation. i politely refused this request for a variety of reasons. I am currently a voluntary patient but with the threat of section being held above me. If i step wrong and do become sectioned, will the hospital have the legal right to be able to contact my next of kin does anyone know? I am not a young person, I live in shared rented accomodation, i am independent, single etc, was very surprised to meet with such pressure in contacting family. I have grave concerns for repurcussions if family are made aware and doctors are keeping me here longer than originally discussed, expressing annoyance that i am not telling them what is going on with me but i am doing my best and behaving compliantly despite that they do not grasp and cannot grasp the situation. this is a straightforward question please if you have the information please do write it here, it does not matter what you think of me, i just want to understand better what it is they are threatening me with. please
 
N

nounandnoun

Guest
#2
i have found it.. it is not next of kin but nearest relative [NR] that is the search term

Right to get information
The approved mental health professional (AMHP) must let the NR know that an application is going to be made, or has been made, to detain their relative under section 2 (s2) of the Mental Health Act. The AMHP should tell the NR what rights they have to discharge the patient.12
The NR may not be told that their relative has been detained under s2 if it would have a negative effect on the patient. Negative affect could mean:13
5
 emotional distress,  mental health getting worse,  physical harm,  financial or other exploitation.
Hospital Managers should give the NR copies of any information given to the patient in writing. However the patient can block information from being given to the NR.14 This includes if their judgment or reasoning has been affected by symptoms of mental illness.

Right to consultation
The AMHP must speak with the NR before someone can be detained for treatment under section 3 (s3), unless:
 it is not reasonably practical. For example the NR can not be found quick enough which could cause treatment to be delayed, or
 the NR is having difficulty with their own health or mental capacity.15
The NR may not be consulted about an application for detention under s3 if it would have a negative effect on the patient.
 
T

Taffy

Guest
#3
The thing is .. who decides " the negative effect" on the patient?

It's a minefield is the short answer. I spent most of last year trying to help my neighbour who was down as "next of kin" for his friend. They did not live together..they have been very close for many years.

She is estranged from her family. Briefly, she became very unwell, her estranged brother appeared on the scene and announced that my neighbour was no relation at all. The hospital then dealt with the brother.
It was very distressing.

Can I suggest that you seek advice from MIND?

They have a legal helpline or you can email them and talk more specifically about your own circumstances.
It is possible to have someone else legally nominated but it is complicated.

Here are the links:
Mind Legal Line
0300 466 6463 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
[email protected]

The Mind Legal Line can provide you with legal information and general advice.

I suppose it would be Tuesday before they re open but you could email them anyway in the interim

Best wishes
Taffy x
 
T

Taffy

Guest
#4
Hey.. sorry that post of mine looked a bit lacking in support. i didnt want to blah on about my neighbour...

I'm sorry that they are putting pressure on you for this. You need an advocate, it is difficult to do this on your own.
Please do give MIND a call or email them and see what they can do.
Hopefully other folks here might have some suggestions also
I know that you are doing your best, please know that we are on your side and we all care very much.

Safe hug to you if ok.
Taffy x
S
 
N

nounandnoun

Guest
#5
thank you Taffy, your posts were very useful. That is a really good point you make about who decides the negative effect, i'm really grateful to be thinking about it more in depth. I will certainly get in touch with mind legal, thank you for the suggestion and information.

thats awful about your neighbour, although perhaps not surprising that the nhs would take such a traditional view of human relationships despite the wishes of the patient :shove:
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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#6
I put N/a on my Next of kin and have done for years now.

Its NOT compulsory.
 
H

Harper

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#7
Monday, 30 May 2011
Who Is Your Nearest Relative?
Blog Reader: I say, Masked AMHP, you’ve been promising to write a post about how to identify the Nearest Relative of a patient detained under the Mental Health Act for the last couple of years. Isn’t it time you got round to it?

Masked AMHP: Do I really have to?

BR: I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.

MA: Can’t I write about a history of mental health legislation instead?

BR: Save it for a future post. I want to know about Nearest Relatives!

MA: Oh, very well then. What do you want to know exactly?

BR: I want you to describe the process of identifying the Nearest Relative within the Meaning of the Mental Health Act. But so that I can understand it.

MA: You want the moon on a stick, don’t you? Don’t you know that Richard Jones devotes 12 pages of very small print in the 13th Edition of the Mental Health Act Manual to the identification of the Nearest Relative? (Available new from Amazon for only £68.82!)

BR: Does he? How interesting. But I’m sure you can do it in fewer pages. And stop advertising.

MA: OK then, I’ll have a go. But you may get a headache.

BR: I’ve got some Solpadol (available from all good chemists!)

MA: You’ll need them. And you stop advertising as well. Let’s see, where to start? Well, you need to understand right from the beginning that the Next of Kin is not necessarily the same as the Nearest Relative. You can choose your Next of Kin, but your Nearest Relative (I’m going to use the term NR from now on, as I’m fed up of typing Nearest Relative over and over again), is set in stone. Sort of. Sec.26 of the MHA defines the Nearest Relative, although to be honest, Chapter 33 of the Reference Guide to The Mental Health Act 1983 explains it more clearly. By the way, did you see how I’ve mastered hyperlinks in my blog?

BR: Stop showing off and get on with it.

MA: (Takes deep breath) Here goes then. The NR is the first person you encounter in the following list:
husband, wife or civil partner;
son or daughter;
father or mother;
brother or sister;
grandparent;
grandchild;
uncle or aunt;
nephew or niece.
BR: That wasn’t too bad. I thought it was going to be much more difficult.

MA: I’ve only just begun. There’s rather more. Any relative has to be at least 18 years of age to count as the NR – unless they are a parent (unlikely, I’d have thought) or a husband, wife, civil partner, or living with the patient for at least 6 months as the husband, wife or civil partner. Oh, and adoptive children count as natural children. Then, of course, to quote from the Act: “Any relationship of the half-blood shall be treated as a relationship of the whole blood, and an illegitimate person shall be treated as the legitimate child of (a) his mother, and (b) if his father has parental responsibility for him within the meaning of Section 3 of the Children Act 1989, his father.” And of course, you have to remember that despite that, a relation of the whole blood will take precedence over the same relation of the half-blood.

BR: That sounds a bit Harry Potterish.

MA: Don’t be sarcastic. But since you’ve mentioned it, applying these rules, who is Harry Potter’s NR?

BR: Well, let’s see, both his parents are dead. He lives with the Dursleys, who we are told are his only living relatives. So it must be his uncle, Vernon?

MA: Nope. Vernon is not a blood relative. His aunt, Petunia, is the sister of Lily Potter, Harry’s deceased mother. She’s definitely over 18, so Petunia Dursley is Harry Potter’s NR within the meaning of the MHA.

BR: Well, I’m glad we’ve got that straight. Do you think Harry’s likely to need sectioning?

MA: Well, he thinks he has special powers, he sees all sorts of strange things that other people can’t see, he hears voices other people can’t hear – what do you think?

BR: I think you’re beginning to spoil the magic of the Harry Potter series for me...

MA: Right, back to the NR. If there is more than one person who comes in the same place in the list, then the eldest takes precedence, regardless of gender.

BR: OK, so I don’t have a partner, and I don’t have any children, but I have a mother and father. That would mean that the elder of the two would be my NR.

MA: That’s right! And if you didn’t have any surviving parents, but you had several brothers and sisters, the eldest would be your NR if there was no-one higher up in the list. And so on. But there are exceptions.

BR: Of course. There are always exceptions.

MA: A relative who lives with, or cares for, the patient, takes precedence over any other relatives. So if a patient lived with their youngest daughter, then the daughter would count over any other children, as long as she was over 18. If you are married or in a civil partnership, but separated or abandoned by your partner, then that person cannot count as your nearest relative. Oh, and if a relative permanently lives abroad, then they don’t count.

BR: What if you can’t find anyone on the list?

MA: Well, if you have lived with someone for at least 5 years, but not as a husband, wife, or same sex partner, then they would count. So if you were a lodger, your landlady might count as NR if you had no other living relatives. And finally, the NR can delegate someone else to act as the patient’s NR.

BR: Is that basically it, then?

MA: Well, I won’t go in to people detained under Part III of the MHA, that is, via the criminal justice system, as they don’t legally have NR’s.

BR: Why not?

MA: No idea. Anyway, let’s give you a little test. Here’s a real case where I had to reach a decision about who was the NR. Fanny was 67 years old. She lived alone. She had been married, but had divorced many years previously. She did not have any children. She had 5 or 6 brothers and sisters who lived in the area. The oldest of these lives in Spain. One brother lived nearby and used to visit her several times a week and help her with shopping and so on. Her father had had a son before he married her mother. This half brother was older than any of her other siblings, but he lived many miles away and had only ever seen his sister a few times. Who is Fanny’s NR?

BR: Well, the oldest of her siblings, regardless of contact? That would be the half brother.

MA: That’s what I thought too. So I contacted him, but he was ill and didn’t want to undertake the role of NR. So he appointed his daughter to act as NR, and I consulted her, and put her name on the section papers. But I was wrong.

BR: (Incredulously) The Masked AMHP was wrong?

MA: Yes. I’d forgotten two things. The first was that relatives of the full blood take precedence over relatives of the half-blood. The second was that a relative who was a carer of the patient took precedence over other relatives. So the brother who lived nearby and helped her with shopping was her actual NR. And I used him the next time I had to section her.

BR: That’s a pretty serious mistake. Didn’t you get in trouble?

MA: Well, “to the best of my knowledge and belief” I had identified the half brother. You only have to show that you have taken reasonable steps to establish the NR. I rectified it next time. Even the Masked AMHP can make mistakes, OK?

BR: So that’s all there is to know about establishing the NR for the purposes of the MHA?

MA: Would you like to know about children subject to Care Orders? The NR rules don’t apply to them. Oh, and the NR of a patient can change over time – if they get married, for instance, or if a child reaches the age of 18. Oh, and –

BR: That’s quite enough for one post, thank you. Nice to talk to you.

MA: Nice to talk to you, too. I hope you’ll drop in again sometime, when I might tell you all about the history of mental health legislation.

BR: I can’t wait.
Posted by The Masked AMHP at 17:56
Labels: harry potter, Nearest relative
12 comments:

cb30 May 2011 at 18:13
I'm so geeky that I actually chuckled through th
 
H

Harper

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#8
Sorry to here you are in hospital and I hope they are looking after you really well. xx Harper

This is a bit waffly, but he writes some good stuff I have found - plus he did the job for years.
 
H

Harper

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#9
It is here in England BDU especially in relation to sectioning someone.
 
H

Harper

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#10
You can also overturn your nearest relative and choose someone else.
 
N

nounandnoun

Guest
#11
Thank you Harper, i really appreciate your replies. It is good to know about overturning your nearest relative as an option to request. Everyone is being very kind but it is all quite coercive, and there is so much that can't honestly be discussed, both in terms of details and dangers of my situation and in terms of simple interpersonal reasons for not finding staying on the ward 'theraputic', so it's really good to think through approaches about discussing this issue.

Thank you all for your input, i really am grateful
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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#12
It is here in England BDU especially in relation to sectioning someone.
are you sure about that

you have RIGHTS and one of those Rights is to have no nearest relative, no one you wish informed, no one to Call if They Cant Cope with their Jobs.

I have Privacy issues and would rather DIE than have my family or friends called into any of my MH dramas

N/a it is. They don't LIKE it, but in a push the Courts will make you a Ward.

Been there done that too. Heh. #FAIL
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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#14
Such as being constantly whinged at by other patients who don't accept i dont want to use my powers of unescorted leave to smuggle in cocaine to the ward (y) :doh:
PMSL!

WHO CAN AFFORD COCAINE!!!

they shouldn't be in Public Health if so! :D
 
N

nounandnoun

Guest
#15
thanks BDU, they have my parents contact details as they are listed as next of kin in my medical records. I'm more than happy for them to be informed if im in an accident or i die or whatever but yes, for me too it is partly a privacy issue. I was looking for legal clarification as to whether they need my consent to contact them in this case as its somewhere between the routine appointment and massive carcrash, loss of consciousness scale of health problems
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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#16
someone asked me where I had put my weed on the Roadtrip from Hell

I smugly replied "Nature's Pocket"

It wasn't actually true but it meant I got to not share it :)
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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#18
thanks BDU, they have my parents contact details as they are listed as next of kin in my medical records. I'm more than happy for them to be informed if im in an accident or i die or whatever but yes, for me too it is partly a privacy issue. I was looking for legal clarification as to whether they need my consent to contact them in this case as its somewhere between the routine appointment and massive carcrash, loss of consciousness scale of health problems
NO.

There is zero Legal Requirement to have a Next of Kin.

I do not have one any where on any thing. Privacy is TOO IMPORTANT to me.


Those fekkers caused this shite, why on earth would I want them to be able to Gloat?
 
H

Harper

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#20
Oh dear, You need that like a hole in the head. Hope they back off. Hospitals are not usually therapeutic sadly, more a kind of safe place whilst a change in meds can take place. Sometimes the ward daily routine can help in small ways.

Hopefully you will stay informal.

I was on a section 3 years ago for 28 days and even though I did not want my nearest relative informed, it still had to be done either by the AMHP or the Hospital managers. I really did not like it one bit and it did not help me.

Have you seem the pdoc yet?

xx Harper