Fitness to Plea for Bipolar Patiemts

2 posts in this topic


I am currently shadowing a junior doctor, and two weeks ago  we had a patient who attempted to commit sucide. 

The patient has been on risperidone for a year prescribed by the local GP and not once was she ever referred to CAMHS

Couple of weeks prior to her sucide attempt she was diagnosed with Type 2 Bipolar and was prescribed quetiapine starting with 100mg to 300mg. 

Last week, we received a letter from her solictor informing us that she will be attending court for a theft charge and a Fitness to plead assesment has been requested by the court.

However the  Junior doctor I am shadowing has never completed one before, and the consultants we have on our unit are Locums and they change every day.


  • In relation to the depressive illness of the patient what do we look out for, while carrrying out the assesment.
  • How should the report be structured 
  • Do we charge for the services
  • What questions do we ask, and what will be satisfactory for the court and the patient.
  • Would the recent sucide attempt, and recently prescribed medication form our desicion that the defendent isnt fit to plead.



Your help will greatly be appreciated. 




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Anybody can apply for anything. The issue is whether the curt has power to grant it, and if it has that power should it do so in the particular case.

The words particular case matter. They differ hugely.

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