ASW considers need for application

The ASW should consider the need to make an application. In most situations the GP/medical practitioner will have consulted with the ASW at an early stage and in most cases the ASW will act as the applicant, as the Code encourages. However if:

  • The nearest relative has chosen not to exercise his legal right to make the application and has requested that an ASW consider making the application or
  • The nearest relative has refused and objects to an application being made for the person's compulsory admission to hospital for assessment

the GP/medical practitioner should contact the ASW and request that an application for the person to be admitted to hospital for assessment be considered.

As stated previously it is good practice for both professionals involved in the assessment process to be present at the same time. The Code, 2.19 also states that the ASW should consult with the GP/medical practitioner who is making or has made the medical recommendation and whenever possible other professionals who have been involved with the person's care, including for example home care staff, community psychiatric nurses (CPNs) or community nurses for people with a learning disability (CNLDs).

What statutory duties does the ASW have in this situation?

Article 40 of the Order places a duty on the ASW to make an application where he is satisfied that an application ought to be made and that it is necessary or proper for the application to be made by him. LINK TO ROLE OF ASW.

The Code 2.14 states that:
To satisfy himself that it is necessary and proper to do so the ASW must interview the patient in person. The Guide and Code both provide general requirements and guidance in relation to how the interview should be conducted.

The ASW is required to have seen the person whose detention is sought within the 2 days prior to making the application. The ASW is required to identify the patient's nearest relative and ensure that his statutory duties to the nearest relative are fulfilled. These include consulting with the nearest relative prior to making the application or, if this is not practicable, as soon as possible following the patient's detention for assessment. If the nearest relative objects the ASW has a statutory duty to consult with a second ASW before proceeding. LINK TO ROLE OF NEAREST RELATIVE

In addition the Code states that the ASW should:

  • Ascertain the nearest relative's views about the patient's needs and his (the relative's) own needs in relation to the patient and inform the nearest relative of the reasons for considering an application for admission under the Order and the effects of making an application.
  • Take account of any wishes expressed by other relatives of the patient and any close friends or any other relevant circumstances when deciding whether or not to make the application.
  • Consult with the doctor who made the medical recommendation and other health and social care professionals and others who have been involved in the patient's care. Code 2.16 - 2.19