|Title:||Completion of Transport Order (Form 3)|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0241/09|
|Date of issue:||Thursday, 3 December 2009|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||Describes the circumstances and procedures when Police assistance may be requested by an authorised mental health practitioner or a medical practitioner to transport a patient to a place for an assessment.|
|Applicable to:||Authorised Mental Health Practitioners and Medical Practitioners|
|Period of effect:||from 28 October 2009 to 28 October 2014|
|Review date:||28 October 2014|
|Authorised by:||Dr Peter Flett, Director General of Health, Department of Health, 02-Dec-2009|
|Print version:||View print version|
Completion of Transport Order (Form 3)Responsibilities of the Chief Psychiatrist for psychiatric care
The Mental Health Act 1996 (MHA) states that::
Either a medical practitioner or an authorised mental health practitioner (AMHP) may refer a person they suspect of having a mental illness and who would meet the criteria for involuntary status for an examination by a psychiatrist at an Authorised Hospital or other place (s.29).
If the condition of the person is such that Police assistance is required and no suitable and safe alternative is available the referrer may also make a written order (Form 3 - Transport Order) authorizing a Police officer to apprehend and transport the referred person (s.34).
A Form 3 may also be completed when a psychiatrist has examined a referred person in another place (s.29(2)(b)) and referred them on to an Authorised Hospital (Form 5, s.41); or when a Supervising Psychiatrist revokes a Community Treatment Order (CTO) authorizing that the patient be taken to an Authorised Hospital (Form 11, s.71); or when a patient on a CTO has failed to comply with an Order to Attend and Police take the person to a place as indicated on the form for treatment (Form 14, s.84).
In any of the above circumstances where Police involvement is required the condition of the person/patient must be such that Police assistance is required and no suitable alternative is available. It should not be custom and practice to complete a Form 3 (Transport Order) when completing a Form 1 (Referral for Examination).
The types of behaviour indicative of requiring Police assistance include aggressive or unpredictable behaviour, a high risk of absconding, or refusing to attend. Essentially a Transport Order should only be completed when either the person or others may be at risk of harm if the Police were not involved in the transportation.
A Transport Order should not be completed at the request of another agency such as the Ambulance Service unless the condition of the referred person requires Police assistance. The Ambulance Service may transport referred persons on a Form 1 without the necessity of a Form 3.
Provision of information
The referrer will provide to the Police adequate information to assist the Police in making their own assessment regarding prioritization of the request. The Police will then be in a position to decide when and how the referred person should be transported to the Authorised Hospital. This can be done verbally. There is also a space provided on the Form 3 ‘Special factors or other important details’. This section should be completed providing the Police with important information regarding risk issues. The information provided will further assist the Police in their decisions as to the form of transport and number of Police required.
Additionally the Police may require the completion of a Transport Risk Assessment Form. This form, the result of consultation between the Police and the Mental Health Division, is designed to assist the Police in prioritising the transport. The priority form may be faxed to the relevant Police service. If no faxing service is available the information on the form can be given via the telephone.
Police should not be provided with a copy of the Form 1 as it may contain confidential information on matters, which do not concern the issue of safe transport.
Form 3 Transport Order
The referrer must complete a Form 3 and at some point a referred person/patient must be given a copy of the order. If it is not possible to give the referred person/patient a copy of the order at the time of transport it must be provided later.
Medical practitioners or AMHPs who refer a person and complete a Transport Order tick Box 1 on the form. The other three boxes are for a psychiatrist to tick in those particular circumstances outlined on the form.
A Form 3 for a person to be transported to an Authorised Hospital lasts for 72 hours from the time it was made. If the place of referral is a non-authorised facility then the Form 3 lasts for 24 hours from the time it was made. These time lines indicate that Police assistance is required as soon as practicable. If the referred person/patient has not been received at the Authorised Hospital or the person not transported to the non-authorised facility within those time frames, the Form 3 lapses. The Form 1 continues to be valid for up to seven (7) days from the time it was made.
The referrer (the clinician who completed the Form 1) may complete another Form 3 if the person has not been apprehended and transported. Only the referrer is able to complete a Form 3. If a Form 1 is completed and a Form 3 required at a later stage only the referring practitioner who completed the Form 1 may complete the Form 3.
If the referrer is not available to complete a Form 3 or a new Form 3 the other Form 3 having expired then it would be necessary for a medical practitioner or AMHP to complete a fresh examination and complete a new Form 1 if the person meets the criteria along with the Form 3 if Police assistance is required.
The Form 3 authorises the Police to apprehend and transport, it does not compel them to take these actions. However, if the Police fail to act when authorised they may be held liable for any subsequent serious incident or traumatic event. Police are responsible for the referred person from the time of apprehension under the Form 3 until they are received in an Authorised Hospital.
Although the Police have overall responsibility for the person during this process their presence and the form of transport may be negotiated with mental health service staff. This is particularly relevant when a referred person is being transported from a rural region to the metropolitan area and a break in the transport may be necessary.
Referred persons may be transported by health department vehicle, ambulance, Royal Flying Doctor Service or in a Police vehicle. However no matter the form of the transport the Police remain responsible with assistance from mental health services.
Not acting on a Form 3
For further information refer Operational Directive ‘Not acting on a Form 1 and 3’.
Information about Completion of Transport Orders can be found in the Clinicians Guide to the Mental Health Act 1996 (Fourth Edition), available on the Chief Psychiatrist’s website: www.chiefpsychiatrist.health.wa.gov.au or a copy may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist on 9222 4462. Dr Rowan Davidson is the Chief Psychiatrist.
Dr Peter Flett
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 9 December 2009 at 1:54pm