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Administration of the Act

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  • Chief Psychiatrist

    The Mental Health Act 2016 provides for the appointment of a chief psychiatrist. The primary role of the chief psychiatrist is to protect the rights of involuntary patients and voluntary patients in authorised mental health services and to ensure compliance with the Act.

    Fact Sheet: Chief Psychiatrist

    Authorised mental health service administrator

    The Act also establishes the functions of authorised mental health service (AMHS) administrators appointed by the Chief Psychiatrist. This position plays a critical role in coordinating and overseeing the operation of the Act at the service delivery level.

    Policy: Declaration of Authorised Mental Health Services and Administrators (UNDER REVIEW)

    The administrator of an AMHS may delegate functions and powers under the Act to an appropriately qualified health service employee of the service.

    Template: Schedule of Administrator Delegations under the Mental Health Act

    Template: Instrument of delegation

    Authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners

    AMHS administrators are responsible for appointing authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners (AMHPs). Authorised doctors and AMHPs exercise significant powers and functions which impact on the rights of individuals.

    Accountable appointment processes and the establishment of minimum knowledge and skill requirements for appointment are fundamental to the proper and effective administration of the Act, the protection of individual rights, and patient, carer and wider community confidence in the system of care.

    Policy: Appointment of authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners

    Attachment 1: Example procedures and applications for appointment

    Attachment 2: Example instruments of appointment

    Attachment 3: Table of required MHA2016 eLearning Course modules

  • Authorised mental health services (AMHSs) are health services authorised under the Act to provide involuntary examination, assessment and treatment to persons with mental illness.

    AMHSs include both public and private sector health services.

    While an AMHS can provide services to both voluntary and involuntary patients, an AMHS is the only place where a person can be detained for involuntary treatment for mental illness.

    Declaration as an AMHS is also required to provide regulated treatments (e.g. electroconvulsive therapy) or restrictive practices (i.e. seclusion and restraint).

    Declaration as an AMHS occurs when the Chief Psychiatrist, by gazette notice, declares a health service, or part of a health service, providing treatment and care to persons who have a mental illness to be an AMHS.

    The Chief Psychiatrist may declare an AMHS with conditions, enabling services with low service level capabilities to provide limited treatment and care under the Act.

    Policy: Declaration of Authorised Mental Health Services and Administrators (UNDER REVIEW)

    Schedule: Authorised Mental Health Services and Administrators

  • Queensland legislation provides a flexible legislative framework which supports Queensland clinicians in sharing information in certain situations, while recognising the consumer’s right to confidentiality and privacy.

    For most people with a mental illness, the meaningful engagement of people who play a significant part in their lives is an important part of their recovery. It is fundamental to a consumer centred approach that information is shared as often as possible between clinicians, consumers and those involved in helping a person’s recovery.

    In keeping with best practice, mental health clinicians should ensure that everyone identified as important to the consumer is appropriately engaged and involved in the consumer’s treatment and care.

    Guidelines: Information sharing

    Fact Sheet: What you need to discuss with patients

    Memorandum of Understanding

    Queensland Health has several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with other government agencies to provide for cross agency information sharing in specified circumstances in the treatment and care of persons with a mental illness.

    MoU: Queensland Corrective Services - Confidential Information Disclosure (2018) (UNDER REVIEW)

    Operating Guideline: Queensland Corrective Services - Confidential Information Disclosure (UNDER REVIEW)

    MoU: Queensland Police Service - Mental Health Collaboration (2017)

    MoU: Department of Justice and Attorney General - Court Liaison Service (2011)

    Model of Service: Mental Health Support of Police Negotiator Program

    Transport Agreement: Queensland Interagency Agreement for Safe Transport of People Accessing Mental Health Assessment, Treatment and Care (2019)

  • An accurate, comprehensive and up to date patient record management system supports mental health clinicians and administrators in delivering high quality treatment and care and upholding the rights of involuntary patients.

    AMHS administrators are required to ensure that data relevant to the assessment, treatment and care patients under the Act is accurate and up-to-date, and that all Act-related documents are electronically entered or uploaded to the patient record.

    Policy: Patient records

  • The Act provides a framework for ensuring the safety and security of patients and others within an authorised mental health service or public sector health service facility. This framework includes the authorisation of searches, mail procedures, and processes relating to the exclusion of visitors.

    ​Searches under the Act may be authorised under specific circumstances for patients and their belongings, as well as for visitors and visitors’ belongings.

    Policy: Searches and security

    Fact Sheet: Searches

    Form: Application for Internal Review of a decision about seizure or forfeiture

  • Complaints and feedback mechanisms allow authorised mental health services to identify areas for improvement, with the goal being to improve patient outcomes.

    Complaints and feedback processes also strengthen the accountability of staff, and provide oversight in the administration of AMHSs, which increases patient and public confidence.

    Where a service has been unable to resolve a complaint made by a patient or an ‘interested person’ for the patient, they have a right to request a second opinion about a patient’s treatment and care.

    Policy: Management of complaints and right to a second opinion

  • The Chief Psychiatrist is also responsible for facilitating the proper administration of the Act and monitoring and auditing compliance with the Act.

    Authorised mental health service administrators must provide notification to the chief psychiatrist of a ‘critical incident’ or incident involving significant non-compliance or suspected non-compliance with the Act, involving a patient of the service.

    The Chief Psychiatrist reviews notifications with a view to identifying systemic, clinical governance and management issues that require attention, which can lead to improved patient outcomes and strengthens accountability of authorised mental health services and their staff.

    Policy: Notification to Chief Psychiatrist of critical incidents and non-compliance

    Form: Notification of Critical Incidents (Private Sector Authorised Mental Health Services)

Last updated: 1 July 2021