The temporary amendments to the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 found in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are as of 10 August 2020 suspended. The suspension includes all temporary amendments to the Mental Health Order found in the Coronavirus Act, including the temporary Code of Practice.
As of 10 August 2020 all amendments are therefore stood down and this Code of Practice has no statutory force. Transitional arrangements in the Suspension Order allows for decisions made in reliance of the provisions before the suspension to be valid after 10 August 2020.
‘The Coronavirus Act 2020 makes temporary amendments to the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. The Act relaxes some of the requirements of the Order in a time of emergency, to ensure that persons can still be compulsorily admitted and detained for treatment in hospital for the mental health care and support they need during a pandemic crisis when staff availability may be significantly reduced.
The Department has made a Code of Practice for the amendments which provides practical guidance on how they operate. Emergency forms and a reporting template for Health and Social Care Trusts have also been created.
The Code of Practice and Emergency Forms can be downloaded below.