§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average delay between a detained patient's request for a mental health review tribunal under sections of the Mental Health Act, other than section 2, and the holding of the tribunal.
§ Mr. Dorrell
In relation to tribunals held during the first quarter of 1990, patients subject to restriction orders had waited on average 26.5 weeks for a tribunal hearing while patients not subject to restriction orders had waited an average of 12 weeks. There are a number of factors which influence the length of time taken to mount tribunals. These include the time taken to obtain medical and social services reports, and medical second opinions when the patient or the patient's solicitor considers these would be helpful. Officials have been asked to carry out an urgent review of the methods and procedures involved to identify any scope for improvements.