CNWL NHS Foundation Trust v HJ-H  UKUT 210 (AAC),  MHLO 88
The tribunal granted discharge from a CTO, deferred for 3 months, expressing the hope that in the meantime the RC would consider reducing the level of the patient's medication. The Trust appealed. (1) The challenge to the decision to discharge was essentially an attempt to re-argue the tribunal’s assessment of the evidence, and was therefore unsuccessful. In deciding on whether there is an error of law, the UT must respect the FTT's assessment of the evidence and fact-finding role (provided this was carried out rationally and explained): (a) the UT's statutory jurisdiction is limited to points of law; (b) the expert composition of the FTT means its fact-finding is worthy of such respect. (2) The challenge to the deferral also failed, as there was no evidence that the tribunal had misdirected itself by granting the deferral with the intention that that the patient's medication could be reduced in order to make her ready for discharge on a future date. (3) If the FTT's reasons for the deferral had not been set out adequately (ironically, the judge said the reasoning was 'not pellucid') then its decision would still not have been set aside; if anyone had cause to complain about the deferral it was the patient rather than the Trust. (4) If a CTO patient's condition deteriorates after a deferred discharge decision: (a) before the discharge date, he can be recalled under the CTO which still remains in force, and/or have his medication changed; (b) after the discharge date, he can be detained under s2 or s3, if there is information which was not known to the tribunal which puts a significantly different complexion on the case as compared with that which was before the tribunal.
Before: UTJ Jacobs