Key messages

  • Temporary treatment orders authorise the provision of compulsory mental health treatment.
  • An authorised psychiatrist may make a Temporary treatment order if the treatment criteria apply to a person subject to an Assessment Order or a Court Assessment Order.

Temporary treatment orders authorise the provision of compulsory mental health treatment.

An authorised psychiatrist may make a Temporary treatment order if the treatment criteria apply to a person subject to an Assessment Order or a Court Assessment Order.

Purpose of a Temporary treatment order

A Temporary treatment order enables an authorised psychiatrist to provide compulsory treatment to a person to whom the treatment criteria apply.

A Temporary treatment order also enables a patient:

Treatment criteria

The authorised psychiatrist must be satisfied that all of the treatment criteria apply to a person before making a Temporary treatment order.

The treatment criteria are:

  • the person has mental illness
  • because the person has mental illness, the person needs immediate treatment to prevent:
    • serious deterioration in the person’s mental or physical health or
    • serious harm to the person or another person
  • the immediate treatment will be provided to the person if the person is subject to a Temporary treatment orderthere is no less restrictive means reasonably available to enable the person to be immediately treated.

An authorised psychiatrist or their delegate who makes a person subject to a Temporary treatment order must be satisfied that if the Temporary treatment order is made the person will receive the immediate treatment. This means that services must be available to enable the person’s treatment.

The authorised psychiatrist or delegate making the Temporary treatment order must be satisfied that there is no less restrictive means reasonably available to enable the person to receive the immediate treatment, including whether the person can receive treatment on a voluntary basis.

Making a Temporary treatment order

An authorised psychiatrist may make a Temporary treatment order for a person who is subject to an Assessment Order or a Court Assessment Order if the authorised psychiatrist has examined the person and is satisfied that the treatment criteria apply to the person.

In determining whether the treatment criteria apply to the person, the authorised psychiatrist must to the extent reasonable in the circumstances have regard to all the following:

  • the person’s views and preferences about treatment of his or her mental illness and the reasons for those views and preferences including any recovery outcomes that the person would like to achieve
  • the views and preferences of the person expressed in his or her advance statement
  • the views of the nominated person
  • the views of the guardian
  • the views of the carer, if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that making a Temporary treatment order will directly affect the carer and the care relationship
  • the views of the parent of the person, if the person is under the age of 16 years
  • the views of the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of a custody to Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order.

The authorised psychiatrist may consider other information communicated to the authorised psychiatrist by persons other than the person who was examined.

An authorised psychiatrist who made a person subject to an Assessment Order cannot conduct an assessment of the person and make the person subject to a Temporary treatment order.

Setting of a Temporary treatment order

An authorised psychiatrist who makes a Temporary treatment order for a person must determine whether the person can be treated in the community (Community temporary treatment order) or whether the person needs to be taken to a designated mental health service (Inpatient Temporary treatment order).

The Temporary treatment order must state whether it is a Community temporary treatment order or an Inpatient temporary treatment order.

In determining whether the Temporary treatment order has a community or inpatient setting the authorised psychiatrist must, to the extent reasonable in the circumstances, have regard to all of the following:

  • the person’s views and preferences about treatment of his or her mental illness and the reasons for those views and preferences including any recovery outcomes that the person would like to achieve
  • the views and preferences of the person expressed in his or her advance statement
  • the views of the nominated person
  • the views of the guardian
  • the views of the carer, if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that making a Temporary treatment order will directly affect the carer and the care relationship
  • the views of the parent of the person, if the person is under the age of 16 years
  • the views of the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of a custody to Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order.

The authorised psychiatrist may only make a person subject to an Inpatient Temporary treatment order if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that the person cannot be treated in the community.

Contents of a Temporary treatment order

A Temporary treatment order must state whether the Temporary treatment order is a Community Treatment Order or an Inpatient Treatment Order.

A Temporary treatment order must also state the date and time the Order was made. It must state that the Temporary treatment order has a duration of 28 days unless it is revoked earlier

Duration of a Temporary treatment order

A Temporary treatment order remains in force for 28 days from the date the Order is made unless revoked earlier or if it expires because:

A variation of the setting of a Temporary treatment order does not affect the duration of the Temporary treatment order.

An authorised psychiatrist must immediately revoke a Temporary treatment order if the treatment criteria no longer apply to the person.

Information and other requirements for a Temporary treatment order

As soon as practicable after making a Temporary treatment order, the authorised psychiatrist must ensure reasonable steps are taken:

  • to inform the person who is subject to the Temporary treatment order that he or she is subject to a Temporary treatment order
  • to give the person a copy of the Temporary treatment order and a copy of the relevant statement of rights
  • to explain to the person the purpose and effect of the Temporary treatment order
  • to inform the person that he or she will receive treatment in relation to his or her mental illness
  • to notify the Tribunal that the Temporary treatment order has been made, and
  • to ensure that reasonable steps are taken to inform the following persons in relation to the person subject to the Order that the Order has been made:
    • the nominated person
    • a guardian
    • a carer, if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that treating the person will directly affect the carer or the care relationship
    • a parent if the person is under 16 years of age
    • the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of a custody to Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order, and
    • give these persons a copy of the Temporary treatment order and the relevant statement of rights.

A person who is subject to an Inpatient Temporary treatment order and who is not already at a designated mental health service must be taken to a designated mental health service as soon as practicable after the Order is made.

Variation of a Temporary treatment order

The authorised psychiatrist may vary a patient’s Temporary treatment order at any time.

The authorised psychiatrist may only vary a Community Temporary treatment order to an Inpatient Temporary treatment order if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that the person cannot be treated in the community.

Where a Temporary treatment order is varied, the authorised psychiatrist who makes the variation must notify the Mental Health Tribunal and ensure that reasonable steps are taken:

  • to informed the person who is subject to the Temporary treatment order that the order has been varied
  • give the person a copy of the varied Temporary Treatment Order and copy of the relevant statement of rights,
  • explain the purpose and effect of the variation to the person
  • inform the following persons that the Temporary treatment order has been varied:
    • the nominated person
    • a guardian
    • a carer, if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that assessing the person will directly affect the carer and the care relationship
    • a parent, if the person is under the age of 16 years
    • the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of custody to the Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order, and
  • give these persons a copy of the Temporary treatment order and the relevant statement of rights.

If the variation is from Community Temporary treatment order to Inpatient Temporary treatment order a patient who is not already at a designated mental health service must be taken to a designated mental health service as soon as practicable after the variation is made.

Revocation of a Temporary treatment order

An authorised psychiatrist or the Mental Health Tribunal must immediately revoke a Temporary treatment order if the criteria do not apply to the person.

In addition, a person has a right to make an application for revocation of the Temporary treatment order to the Mental Health Tribunal at any time.

The Mental Health Tribunal must conduct a hearing and determine the application for revocation as soon as practicable.

The Mental Health Tribunal may either make a Treatment Order if the criteria apply to the person or revoke the Temporary treatment order if the criteria do not apply to the person.

Expiry of a Temporary treatment order

A Temporary treatment order will expire:

  • at the end of the 28 day period unless it is revoked earlier or
  • if the person is made subject to a Court Secure Treatment Order or a Secure Treatment Order or
  • if the person is detained in a designated mental health service under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997.

Expired or revoked Temporary treatment orders - notification

If a Temporary treatment order expires or is revoked, the authorised psychiatrist must notify the Mental Health Tribunal (unless the Tribunal revoked the Order) and ensure that reasonable steps are taken to:

  • inform the person that the person is no longer subject to the Temporary treatment order and, in the case of the revocation, give the person a copy of the notice of revocation
  • inform the following persons that the Temporary treatment order has expired or has been revoked:
    • the nominated person
    • a guardian
    • a carer, if the authorised psychiatrist is satisfied that assessing the person will directly affect the carer and the care relationship
    • a parent, if the person is under the age of 16 years
    • the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of custody to the Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order.