Two MHRBs have been in operation since implementation of the MHCA, dealing with applications from the various inpatient facilities, community psychiatric outpatient clinics and long-term care and rehabilitation centres in the northern and southern parts of the province.
The aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the Act's impact by means of an audit of the number and origin of applications for involuntary admissions of MHCUs made to the MHRBs by the various institutions in Gauteng in 2008.
This was a retrospective review of the register/database of the two MHRBs in Gauteng.
The study population consisted of all MHCUs for whom applications for CTR without consent were made to the MHRBs in accordance with the MHCA during the period January-December 2008.
During the 1-year study period the two MHRBs received a total of 3 803 applications for inpatient care, of which 66.4% (N=2 526) were for assisted inpatient care and 33.6% (N=1 277) for involuntary inpatient care (Table I); 48.1% (N=1 831) of these applications were from the regional hospitals, 29.6% (N=1 127) from specialised psychiatric hospitals and 22.2% (N=845) from tertiary academic hospitals.
During the study period 1 226 applications were received by the MHRBs for outpatient CTR, of which the majority (approximately 92%) were for assisted outpatient CTR (Fig.
If it has to be provided for a continued period of more than 6 months, it must be reviewed regularly and periodic reports must be submitted for approval to the MHRBs, justifying the continued care and the lack of capacity to consent.
Because this is a retrospective study of information captured on the database of the secretariat of the MHRBs, it is likely that some data were missing and perhaps incorrectly captured.
An interesting and important follow-up study would be to investigate whether the MHRBs are complying with the Act themselves, whether they submit their forms to the High Court judges correctly, and whether the judges agree with their process.