Information for /
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

UPDATE: 26 August 2020

The MHRT is aware of a recent increase in spread of COVID-19 in South East Queensland and is continuing to monitor this situation.  At present, given the arrangements that the MHRT already has in place, there is no need for any changes to the MHRT’s operations. Hearings continue to be conducted remotely, staff are working both in the office and from home and we ask that all contact with the MHRT be via email, post or phone rather than by visiting our office in person. In the coming months, some members may return to hearing venues in person, however, this will be regularly assessed and members will not attend at venues identified by Queensland Health as restricted local government areas.

Please continue to contact your treating team to discuss whether you would like to attend your hearing and how best that can occur. If you do not want to attend your hearing but you are happy for it to still go ahead, please make this clear to your treating team. We recommend that you visit the Queensland Health website for additional updates on COVID-19.

UPDATE: 8 June 2020

MHRT staff are commencing a return to the office in the week beginning 8 June 2020. All attendance in the office will be in line with social distancing requirements. It is important that you continue to communicate with us as you have throughout the pandemic, by email, post or phone. For the protection of you and our staff, we ask that you not visit the office, as numbers are strictly limited.

Thank you for your cooperation through these difficult times.

UPDATE: 30 April 2020

The MHRT acknowledges that the Queensland Government is relaxing some community restrictions given the slowing of the spread of Covid-19. At this stage, the MHRT does not have a date planned for staff to return to the office or for face to face hearings to recommence. However, the team are currently considering an appropriate strategy for return to the office and will keep you informed as more is known.

Please continue to contact your treating team to discuss whether you would like to attend your hearing and how best that can occur. If you do not want to attend your hearing but you are happy for it to still go ahead, please make this clear to your treating team.
 

UPDATE: 9 April 2020

We would like to thank everyone who attends Tribunal hearings for their patience and understanding. The Tribunal is continuing to conduct all hearings using remote conferencing.

Please continue to contact your treating team to discuss whether you would like to attend your hearing and how best that can occur. If you do not want to attend your hearing but you are happy for it to still go ahead, please make this clear to your treating team.

The Tribunal continues to issue information to each person receiving a Notice for their upcoming hearing and a copy of that information can be found here.

The Tribunal’s President has also issued a Practice Direction which you can read here. It sets out how people can attend hearings and encourages the use of written submissions by representatives where appropriate.

Should you have any questions about the Tribunal’s practices or your hearing, please contact us. Details of how to contact the Tribunal can be found on the Contact us page.

UPDATE: President's Address - 1 April 2020 

UPDATE: 25 March 2020

The Tribunal is trying its best to continue to conduct hearings as scheduled. However, with limitations on internet and phone coverage at present, we may experience some technical difficulties.

We would like to extend our thanks to all persons participating in their hearings remotely including patients, support persons, and representatives. Everyone has shown great patience and support during what are very challenging times.

We acknowledge that some people trying to dial in to hearings may find it difficult. Please continue to persevere as it sometimes takes multiple attempts to connect.  We also understand that some people’s circumstances may change unexpectedly in the coming weeks so we ask all patients to keep in touch with their treating teams about whether they wish to attend their hearings.

Some things to consider ahead of a hearing:

  • Consider preparing a self-report for the Tribunal. This allows the members to still know your views, wishes and preferences without having to be there to talk to the Tribunal. You can use the self report form on our website or simply send us an email.
  • Start planning for your hearing early and speak to your treating team about whether you would like to attend and how best to make that happen.
  • Make sure your treating team has your up to date contact details, including where possible, your mobile phone number.
  • If you do not wish to attend your hearing but are happy for it to continue in your absence, please let your treating team know.
  • If you do not wish to attend your hearing but would like a representative to attend to speak on your behalf, discuss this in advance with your treating team.
  • Hearings may be delayed throughout the day as members deal with challenging technology. Be prepared that your hearing may start late or run longer than expected.

UPDATE: 20 March 2020

COVID-19 Update regarding contacting the Tribunal

Due to recent changes to the Tribunal office working arrangements as a result of COVID-19 all calls have been diverted to our reception phone number. If you wish to contact the Tribunal this phone number will continue to be monitored however we may be experiencing higher than usual wait times. We recommend you use the contact form below or email [email protected] for a more timely response.  

We thank you for your patience during this time.

UPDATE: 18 March 2020

From Monday 23 March 2020, the Tribunal will cease to conduct face to face hearings.

Hearings will be conducted as follows:

  • Tribunal members will join the hearing via videoconferencing from a number of different locations.
  • Your treating team may join the videoconference from a hospital or community venue OR they may join by videoconference or telephone from somewhere else (e.g. their office or home).
  • You may attend with your case manager or other treating team member as you ordinarily would at a hospital or community venue OR you may like to join via phone from your home.

Please let your case manager or other treating team member know how you would like to join your hearing. 
If you are not able to attend your hearing, you may prefer to send a self-report to the Tribunal. This can be a written letter or email. You may want to use the self report template. Click here to access a copy of the self report. 

If you do not want to attend your hearing but are happy for the hearing to go ahead, please let your treating team know.

MESSAGE: 16 March 2020

Over the coming weeks and months, Coronavirus (COVID-19) may impact on how the Tribunal manages hearings.  We are only just beginning to see those impacts upon individuals, health services, and doctors and nurses. 
The Tribunal will continue to schedule reviews for as long as its staff and members can continue to do so, however despite our best intentions, your reviews may be impacted.  Such impacts may be: 

  • Tribunal members may conduct your hearing by phone or video link;
  • the way you attend your hearing may change (eg. you may participate over the phone);
  • your hearing venue may change;
  • you aren’t able to attend your hearing; or
  • your hearing may need to be cancelled.

Please be aware that cancellation of hearings by the Tribunal will be a last resort. 

We will notify you of any changes to your hearing, or if your hearing is cancelled we will give you information about your next hearing. 

If you have any questions about your hearing or the Tribunal’s preparations in response to COVID-19, please feel free to contact our office.