8. Other Roles and Functions

Interstate Agreements

Under section 202 of the Mental Health Act 2013 an interstate transfer agreement is an agreement between the Minister and the Minister’s counterpart in another state providing for the interstate transfer on humanitarian grounds of eligible patients or any class of eligible patients.

Under section 205 of the Mental Health Act 2013 an interstate control agreement is an agreement between the Minister and the Minister’s counterpart in another state providing for either or both the apprehension, detention and return of patients who have absconded from Tasmania and were found interstate and the apprehension, detention and return of interstate patients who are found at large in Tasmania.

No interstate agreements have been negotiated on behalf of the Minister, since the commencement of the Mental Health Act 2013 on 17 February 2014.

Amendments and regulations

Since the Act has commenced, no amendments or regulations have been promulgated.

Approved Medical Practitioners and Nurses

Pursuant to section 138 of the Mental Health Act 2013, a Chief Psychiatrist, by instrument in writing, may approve individual people (or all members of a class of persons) as Medical Practitioners or as Nurses for provisions of the Act or any other Act where the Chief Psychiatrist may have jurisdiction or responsibilities. Anyone approved as a Medical Practitioner must have qualifications or experience in the diagnosis or treatment people with a mental illness while people approved as Nurses must be registered nurses who are qualified or experienced in the treatment or care of people with mental illness.

There were 24 approvals, under section 138 of the Act, of individuals as Medical Practitioners for all of the provisions of the Act within the Chief Civil Psychiatrist and Chief Forensic Psychiatrist’s jurisdictions since commencement of the Act and no revocations.

There were 4 approvals under section 138 of the Act, of individuals as nurses for provisions of the Act and no revocations.

Mental Health Officers

Pursuant to section 139 of the Mental Health Act 2013, a Chief Psychiatrist, by an instrument in writing, may approve individuals (or all members of a class of persons) as Mental Health Officers (MHOs) for provisions of the Act or any other Act where the Chief Psychiatrist may have jurisdiction or responsibilities. Anyone approved must have skills, qualifications or experience relevant to the responsibilities of MHOs under the relevant statutory provisions.

There were 60 approvals, under section 139 of the Act, of individuals as Mental Health Officers for all of the provisions of the Act within the Chief Civil Psychiatrist and Chief Forensic Psychiatrist’s jurisdictions since commencement of the Act and no revocations.

There were 259 approvals under section 139 of the Act, of all members of a class of persons (certain ambulance officers) as Mental Health Officers for provisions of the Act within the Chief Civil Psychiatrist and Chief Forensic Psychiatrist’s jurisdictions since commencement of the Act and no revocations.

Memorandum of Understanding

The Memorandum of Understanding for the Delivery of Services to People with Mental Illness between Tasmanian Health organisations, Ambulance Tasmania and Tasmania Police came into effect in November 2014.

The Memorandum is the result of considerable discussion and collaboration between each of the parties and represents a strong commitment by all parties to work together to ensure safe outcomes for patients, their families and support persons, police officers, paramedics and health workers, as well as the broader Tasmanian community.

Standing Orders and Clinical Guidelines

Pursuant to sections 151 and 152 of the Mental Health Act 2013, a Chief Psychiatrist may issue clinical guidelines and standing orders to help controlling authorities, medical practitioners, nurses or others regarding the exercise of their responsibilities regarding any clinical or non-clinical procedure or matter under provisions of the Act or any other Act where the Chief Psychiatrist may have jurisdiction or responsibilities.

A full list of Standing Orders and Clinical Guidelines introduced by the Chief Civil Psychiatrist and the Chief Forensic Psychiatrist since the commencement of the Act can be found at Appendix 1.