This article applies to mental health services.
Health and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (Qld)
On 1 July 2022 relevant parts of the Health and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2022 (Qld) (the Amending Act) commenced amending the Mental Health Act 2016 (Qld) (the Act).
Views, wishes and preferences of the person
If a patient is to be transferred between mental health services as an involuntary patient or voluntary classified patient by the agreement of the administrators of each mental health service, then the two administrators must ensure that they have regard to the views, wishes and preferences of the person being transferred, in addition to the existing transfer considerations.
Where transfers of persons subject to a treatment authority to transport the person to another State or subject to an interstate order to transport the person from another State to the mental health facility the administrator of the mental health facility no longer needs to be satisfied of the best interest of the person, however, must have regard, to the greatest extent practicable, the wishes, views and preferences of the person.
Person absent from interstate mental health service
Pursuant to section 368 of the Act, if a person is found to be absent from an interstate mental health service without permission and has a warrant out, or another document authorising their apprehension from an interstate authority, then the administer of a mental health facility has the power to transport that person or detain them in their mental health facility to make arrangements for them to be transported interstate.
In these circumstances the administrator must explain to the person why they are being detained or transported.
International transfer approvals
The Amending Act has created a new obligation, under section 527A of the Act, for administrators of services responsible for the person being transferred under an international transfer approval under Division 2 of Part 10 of the Act to another country. Administrators of services responsible for the person being transferred must arrange, as soon as practicable after the approval takes effect, for them to be transferred to the country stated in the approval.
Pursuant to section 507 of the Act, a doctor may now apply to the Mental Health Review Tribunal for electroconvulsive therapy for adults subject to a treatment authority, forensic order, or treatment support order.
Unauthorised disclosure of personal information under the Act has been amended and is now an offence carrying a penalty of 100 penalty units (currently $14,375). The Amending Act has also significantly expanded who this obligation applies to, including, but not limited to, an assisting clinician and an examining practitioner conducting an examination under a court examination order, or an order mentioned in section 721(1) of the Act.
Use and disclosure of personal information continues to be authorised to the extent necessary to allow the person to perform the person’s functions under the Act or another relevant person to perform the other person’s functions under the Act or if the person to whom the information relates consents to the use or disclosure. Chapter 17 Part 3 of the Act also describes other authorised uses of personal information.
Organisations should review their processes to ensure that the changes to the transfer of persons to and from mental health facilities and the offence for the use or disclose personal information are reflected in relevant policies.