Chief Psychiatrist role and responsibilities
AMHS Administrators: Roles and responsibilities
Chief psychiatrist policies
The Chief Psychiatrist is given authority under the Act to make Chief Psychiatrist Policies.
These Policies must be made publicly available on the Internet.
An authorised doctor, authorised mental health practitioner, administrator or any other person performing a function under the Act must comply with these Policies.
It is an essential role of administrators to understand all current Chief Psychiatrist Policies and ensure that appropriate training and systems are in place to ensure compliance with the Policies.
Chief psychiatrist investigations
The chief psychiatrist has the overall responsibility to protect the rights of patients in authorised mental health services. This applies to both involuntary patients and voluntary inpatients.
The Act gives the Chief Psychiatrist specific powers to fulfil this function.
The Chief Psychiatrist may require the administrator of an authorised mental health service to provide specific information or a document about a patient or any other matter related to the administration of the service. The administrator must comply with this request.
Further to this, the chief psychiatrist may undertake an investigation into any matter about an authorised mental health service. This could occur, for example, if serious concerns were raised about the treatment and care of a patient or patients.
Under the Act, inspectors are appointed by the chief psychiatrist and given specific powers to undertake investigations.
An investigation report may include recommendations relating to the improvement of the operations of an authorised mental health service.
The chief psychiatrist may subsequently direct the administrator of the service to take particular actions and to report to the chief psychiatrist about the actions taken.
Any directions given and actions taken are to be included in the chief psychiatrist’s annual report.
Appointment of authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners
Administrators are responsible for appointing authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners.
Administrator can only appoint a person as an authorised doctor or an authorised mental health practitioner if the person has the relevant competencies.
Competencies are to be assessed through the completion of an e-Learning package developed by the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.
If an administrator is a psychiatrist, the administrator is automatically an authorised doctor.
Each administrator must maintain a register of authorised doctors and authorised mental health practitioners, and ensure that it is kept current.