Detained patients awarded pay-outs

Patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1993 are entitled
to compensation if there are delays in reviewing their cases, the
High Court ruled in a landmark decision last week.

A judge awarded damages of between £750 and £4,000 to
six patients who had been detained for up to 27 weeks because of a
shortage of panel members on Mental Health Review Tribunals.

Arguing for the right to claim compensation, Mr Justice Stanley
Burton acknowledged the ruling may open the floodgates to similar
applications. In May, he ruled that delays and adjournments of
tribunal hearings were in breach of the European Convention on
Human Rights.

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