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Reporting Notifiable Incidents – Public Mental Health Services

Please refer to the Policy for Reporting of Notifiable Incidents to the Chief Psychiatrist – Public Mental Health Services 2018 for information on the statutory requirements for reporting, and to the reporting checklist 2018 for a summary of the reporting pathways.

It is a statutory requirement under the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA 2014) that all notifiable incidents pertaining to psychiatric patients are reported to the Chief Psychiatrist as soon as practicable, ideally within 48 hours of the event.

The Chief Psychiatrist is responsible for overseeing the treatment and care of voluntary, involuntary, mentally impaired accused clients, and patients referred or detained under the MHA 2014. Notifiable incidents must be reported to the Chief Psychiatrist for persons receiving psychiatric care as:

  • an inpatient of a mental health service,
  • an inpatient of a general health service receiving concurrent treatment from mental health services,
  • a client of community mental health services,
  • an inpatient of drug and alcohol services receiving concurrent treatment from mental health services.
Notifiable incidents include, but are not limited to:
  1. Deaths
  2. Assault and/or aggression
  3. Sexual contact and/or allegation of sexual assault
  4. Attempted suicide
  5. Absent Without Leave (AWOL)
  6. Missing person
  7. Serious medication error
  8. Unlawful sexual contact with the patient by a staff member
  9. The patient is harmed by suspected unreasonable use of force by a staff member of a mental health service or psychiatric hostel
  10. Any allegation of homicide committed by a current mental health patient or a mental health patient who was discharged or deactivated from mental health services within 28 days prior to the alleged homicide needs to be reported to the Chief Psychiatrist, even if the mental health service becomes aware of the alleged homicide after the 28 day period.
  11. Any notifiable incident described above, that may receive media attention.
Datix CIMS should be used by public hospital and community mental health service staff to notify the Chief Psychiatrist of:
  • All deaths of mental health patients that may be related to clinical care.
  • All deaths due to suspected suicide or overdose of mental health patients.
  • All notifiable incidents 2-9 above, that are suspected to relate to clinical care.
Notifiable incidents and information outside the CIM Policy should be reported directly to the Chief Psychiatrist through the Notifiable Incidents Form for Public Mental Health Services. This includes:
  • All deaths of patients within 28 days of their discharge/deactivation from Mental Health Services that the service becomes aware of.
  • All deaths of active patients which are not suspected to relate to clinical care, or which are outside Datix Policy.
  • Names or personally identifiable characteristics of staff and others (who are not a patient) involved in, or witness to, the incident.

Please download the form and save it your desktop, then open it from your desktop and complete the form and click ‘save.’ Then attach the completed form to an e-mail and send to


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