Rights of all People Admitted to an Inpatient Facility
Everyone admitted to an inpatient facility or receiving involuntary community treatment must be given information about their medication and treatment. This information must be provided in a form the person can understand.
A discharge plan must be prepared for all people admitted to an inpatient facility. The plan must contain arrangements for accommodation, ongoing treatment and rehabilitation after discharge. The person must be consulted about the arrangements in the discharge plan, and once it has been prepared, provided with information about the plan.
A person has the right to expect that information about them will remain confidential. Section 91 of the Mental Health and Related Services Act does provide for some situations where information can be released, for example when the information is necessary for criminal proceedings, or where it is important for the ongoing care or treatment of the person receiving treatment.
Access to records
A person can apply to access their medical records by writing a short letter to the authorised psychiatric practitioner outlining what information the person wishes to access and why. A response should be received within thirty days. If access is refused, the person has the right to appeal this decision to the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
A person being treated in an inpatient facility must have free access to send and receive mail and to make and receive phone calls (subject to this being practicable and the person paying the cost of calls). Similarly, a person must be able to receive visitors in reasonable privacy during visiting hours at the hospital.
If there is a possibility that the person receiving treatment or others are placed at risk by access to mail, telephone or visitors, these rights may be curtailed by order of an authorised psychiatric practitioner.
Any such order must be reviewed daily. The Mental Health Review Tribunal must be notified, and the person must be informed of the right to apply to the Tribunal to have the order reviewed.
Any person receiving treatment from NT Mental Health Services may complain to the service if unhappy with any aspect of their treatment and care.
Complaints directly to the mental health service may be made informally, or more formal complaints may be made in writing on forms that are available from the mental health service.
A person can also complain to the Community Visitor Program or to the Health and Community Services Complaints Commission.