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MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2016 - SECT 800I

Power of chief psychiatrist to approve absences during COVID-19 emergency period

800I Power of chief psychiatrist to approve absences during COVID-19 emergency period

(1) This section applies in relation to each of the following patients—
(a) a patient subject to a forensic order if the category is inpatient;
(b) a classified patient;
(c) a patient subject to a judicial order;
(d) a patient subject to a treatment authority if the category is inpatient;
(e) a patient subject to a treatment support order if the category is inpatient;
(f) a person detained in an authorised mental health service under section 368 .
(2) During the COVID-19 emergency period, the chief psychiatrist may approve the person’s absence from an authorised mental health service if satisfied—
(a) the absence is reasonably necessary to comply with—
(i) a detention order made under the Public Health Act 2005 , section 349 in relation to the COVID-19 emergency; or
(ii) a public health direction given under the Public Health Act 2005 , section 362B ; and
(b) the treatment and care needs of the person can reasonably be met for the period of the absence; and
(c) the absence will not—
(i) result in an unacceptable risk to the person’s safety and welfare; or
(ii) result in an unacceptable risk to the safety of the community.
(3) The period of the approved absence must end no later than the earlier of the following days—
(a) the day the chief psychiatrist becomes aware the requirements mentioned in subsection (2) (a) , (b) or (c) stop being met;
(b) 30 April 2022.
(4) The approval—
(a) must be in writing; and
(b) may include any conditions the chief psychiatrist considers appropriate, including, for example, that the person remain in the physical presence of a stated person for the period of the absence.
(5) As soon as practicable after approving the absence, the chief psychiatrist must give written notice of the approval—
(a) to the administrator of the authorised mental health service; and
(b) for a person who is subject to a forensic order, treatment support order or treatment authority—to the tribunal; and
(c) for a person who is subject to a judicial order—to the court that made the order.
(6) If the administrator of the authorised mental health service receives a written notice of an approval under subsection (5) (a) , the administrator must notify the following persons of the approval—
(a) the person the subject of the approval;
(b) any nominated support person for the person the subject of the approval.
(7) In this section—

"COVID-19 emergency" see the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 , schedule 1 .



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