GP/Medical Practitioner and nearest relative/ASW are contacted to assess person

The person's GP's surgery should be contacted and concerns relayed. The GP should interview the person, assess his needs and consider a number of care and treatment options including referral to the local community mental health/learning disability team, crisis and home treatment services, before considering the need to make a recommendation that the person be detained under the Order.

The ASW may also be contacted at this stage. Arrangements are in place in each Trust area to facilitate 24 hour access to an ASW. It is good practice for the assessment to be conducted when both the GP and ASW involved are present. LINK TO ASW CONTACTS LIST

What if the person is not registered with a GP?

In this circumstance the assistance of a medical practitioner should be sought through local emergency primary care arrangements.

What if the GP/medical practitioner and ASW cannot gain access to the person for whom concerns have been raised?

In circumstances where despite persistent attempts, persuasion and requests for assistance from others, it is not possible to gain access to premises to carry out an assessment of the person's needs, the GP/ medical practitioner, ASW and others involved should consider the need to apply for a warrant under Article 129 (1) LINK TO WARRANTS APPENDIX

What if access is required as a matter of urgency?

In situations where immediate access is required and seeking a warrant under Article 129 (1) would cause unreasonable delay, those involved should seek the immediate assistance of police. The PSNI can, where there is a real and immediate threat to life and risk to others, gain entry by other means as outlined in Article 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989.