Victoria Legal Aid

Varying the type of order – community to inpatient, inpatient to community

An authorised psychiatrist has the power to vary a person’s temporary treatment order or treatment order from a community to an inpatient order and vice versa (s. 58).

An authorised psychiatrist has the power to vary a person’s temporary treatment order or treatment order from a community to an inpatient order and vice versa (s. 58).

The duration of the order is unaffected, but if a community order is varied to an inpatient order it triggers a hearing at the Mental Health Tribunal within 28 days (s. 58(5)).

When making any of these decisions, the authorised psychiatrist must also have regard to the mental health principles.

Varying a person’s order does not affect their rights to apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for the order to be revoked. If a person’s order has been varied before their hearing, the hearing will still proceed but the venue and date may change. For more information, see The Mental Health Tribunal – its role and powers.

Practice tips

  • An inpatient order is by definition more restrictive of a person’s rights than a community order. Before varying to an inpatient order, the authorised psychiatrist must have evidence in order to be satisfied the person cannot be treated in the community.
  • When making a decision to vary an order, the authorised psychiatrist must also have regard to the mental health principles in particular that mental health services promote full participation in community life at s. 11(1)(b).

More information

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Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Reviewed 23 March 2022

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