NHS 608x376

Latest Figures On Detentions Under The Mental Health Act Published By NHS Digital

NHS_608x376New statistics have been published by NHS Digital today on the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act in England throughout 2015/16.

Inpatients Formally Detained in Hospitals Under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment is a detailed study based on information from organisations in England which provide Mental Health Services and make use of the Mental Health Act 1983 legislation, as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007.

These include high security psychiatric hospitals as well other NHS service providers and independent hospitals.

The annual report includes a snapshot count from 31 March 2016 which looks at the number of patients detained under the Mental Health Act, including those who were being detained in an independent sector provider (ISP).

The report also provides information around the use of section 1363 of the Mental Health Act, which allows police to remove a person from a public space and take them to a place of safety. These figures are broken down by whether a person was taken to a hospital or a police cell4.

Information is also included on the use of other sections of the Mental Health Act, such as Community Treatment Orders (CTOs)5 and both long and short term detentions in hospital.

An additional report, Mental Health Act statistics: Improved reporting to support better care is released today and explains changes to how these statistics are sourced and created from 2016/17 onwards.

This additional report includes comparable statistics from the old and new sources of this information plus some new statistics that are now possible because of the change in how the information is sourced. The new statistics provide more information about uses of the Mental Health Act and the ethnicity of the patients.

In response to the data, Dr Paul Lelliott, Care Quality Commission deputy chief inspector of hospitals (lead for mental health), said:

“It is concerning to see that more people are being detained under the Mental Health Act than in previous years, when there is a national commitment to reduce this number.

“The causes of the rise in the use of the Act are likely to be complex, but the increase in detentions needs to be examined carefully. We do not know, for example, the extent to which the rise is due to repeated detentions, it could signal a lack of support in the community for people with serious mental health problems or if people are being detained repeatedly, that this could be a sign that some services are operating ‘revolving door’ admissions.

“To get to the bottom of this, we are launching an investigation into the reasons why detentions under the Mental Health Act in England continue to rise. We expect to publish our findings from this next year.”

The statistics can be viewed alongside the Adult Psychological Morbidity Survey to provide a more complete picture of mental health in England. The survey was published by NHS Digital in September 2016 and is available here: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748

The full reports are at:

Inpatients Formally Detained in Hospitals Under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment:

Mental Health Bulletin 2015/16:














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