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Mental Health Act: detentions rise by almost ten per cent on previous year

23 October 2015

*HSCIC must be quoted as the source of these figures
*Regional figures are available

Detentions under the Mental Health Act2 rose by 9.8 per cent (5,220) to 58,4003 in 2014/15 compared to the previous year, according to official statistics published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

The 9.8 per cent rise during 2014/15 compares to a 5.5 per cent rise during 2013/14 and a 3.7 per cent rise during 2012/13.

Today's report - Inpatients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983, and patients subject to supervised community treatment, England 2014/15 looks at detentions under the Mental Health Act 1983, which defines how and when a person can be detained in hospital without consent for assessment and/or treatment.

The report, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) also shows that during 2014/15:

  • Detentions in NHS hospitals increased by 4,000 (8.2 per cent) from the year before to reach 51,970 and in independent sector hospitals by 1,270 (24.6 per cent) to 6,430.
  • The instances where section 1364 of the act was used to make a short-term detention to a hospital as a 'place of safety' increased by 2,400 (or 14.1 per cent) to 19,400, compared to the year before.5

The Mental Health Bulletin 2014/15 is also published by the HSCIC today. This provides a comprehensive picture of people who used adult secondary mental health and learning disability services, including people who spent time in hospital. The bulletin shows that:

  • 1,850,000 people were in contact with mental health and learning disability services at some point in the year. This means that 3,620 people per 100,000 of the population6 in England accessed mental health and learning disability services (approximately one person in 28).
  • 5.7 per cent (103,840) of people in contact with mental health and learning disability services spent time in hospital during 2014/15. This is a decrease compared to 2013/14, when 6.0 per cent (105,270) of people in contact with mental health services spent time in hospital and is a continuation of the trend seen in earlier years.
  • One in five people aged 90 and over (93,860 people out of 470,410) accessed mental health and learning disability services.
  • NHS Bury CCG had the highest access rate to mental health and learning disability services at 9,350 people per 100,000 of the population and NHS South Gloucestershire CCG had the lowest at 2,080.

The Mental Health Bulletin 2014/15 also provides complementary analysis of uses of the Mental Health Act (although from a different data source and with a different scope from the Inpatients formally detained report detailed above). The Mental Health Bulletin shows that for every 100 people who spent time in a mental health hospital there were 40.1 detentions and also gives gender and ethnicity breakdowns, showing that:

  • Women who spend time in mental health hospitals were more likely to be detained than men. For every 100 female inpatients, there were 41.9 detentions, compared to 38.5 among male inpatients.
  • People from the Black or Black British ethnic group were more likely than other ethnic groups to be detained, with 56.9 detentions per 100 inpatients.7

Responsible Statistician, Carl Money, from the HSCIC said: "Together, these reports provide a rich picture, helping us understand how mental health and learning disabilities services are used in England and how the powers under the Mental Health Act are being used.

"With one in 28 people in England in contact with these services at some point over the year, it is clear that access to these services is widespread across England."

Inpatients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983, and patients subject to supervised community treatment, England 2014/15 can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/inpatientdetmha1415

The Mental Health Bulletin 2014/15 can be found at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/pubs/mhb1415

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. Detentions under the Mental Health Act are defined in the report as: (a) Detentions on admission to hospital under Part II (Sections 2 and 3) and Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983, and under previous legislation (Fifth Schedule) and other Acts; (b) Detentions subsequent to admission (uses of Part II Sections 2 and 3, following a change of legal status from Section 4, 5 or informal stay in hospital); (c) Detentions under Part II Sections 2 and 3 following the use of Section 136; (d) Detentions following a Community Treatment Order (CTO) revocation.
  3. Numbers of patients over 1,000 have been rounded to the nearest 10.  Numbers over one million have been rounded to the nearest 50,000. Percentages are presented to one decimal point.
     
  4. Section 136 allows police to remove an individual from a place to which the public have access to a 'Place of Safety', with a limit of 72 hours. A Place of Safety is defined for the purposes of the act as residential accommodation provided by a local social services authority, a hospital (including independent hospitals), a police station, a care home for mentally disordered patients or any other suitable place where the occupier is willing temporarily to receive the patient.
  5. Over the same period the number of instances where section 136 was used and the place of safety was a police cell fell by 2,032 (33.7 per cent) to 3,996 in England, according to data published by the National Police Chief's Council http://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/fall-in-use-of-police-custody-for-those-in-mental-health-crisis
  6. 3,620 people per 100,000 of the population are based on those aged 18 and over with a known gender and ethnicity.
  7. The rate of detentions per 100 inpatients was next highest among the Asian or Asian British group (50.4), followed by Other Ethnic Group (49.8), Mixed (44.2) and White (37.5) ethnic groups.
  8. For media enquiries please contact media@hscic.gov.uk or 0300 30 33 888.
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