News

Mental Health Act detentions soared over past decade, figures show

NHS Digital data reveals a 47% increase in detentions under the Mental Health Act
Detention

Detentions under the Mental Health Act have surged in the past decade, new figures reveal.

In 2015-16, there were 63,622 detentions in England, compared with 43,361 in 2005-06, according to data from NHS Digital.

The information also shows that more people are being taken to hospital as a place of safety rather than police cells.

Some 22,965 detentions involved hospitals in 2015-16, an 18% rise on the previous year.

Concerning development

Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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 use of the act are likely to be complex, but the increase in detentions needs to be

Detentions under the Mental Health Act have surged in the past decade, new figures reveal.


Picture: iStock

In 2015-16, there were 63,622 detentions in England, compared with 43,361 in 2005-06, according to data from NHS Digital.

The information also shows that more people are being taken to hospital as a place of safety rather than police cells.

Some 22,965 detentions involved hospitals in 2015-16, an 18% rise on the previous year.

‘Concerning’ development

Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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 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, it could be a sign that some services are operating "revolving door" admissions.’

 Dr Lelliott added that the CQC was launching an investigation into the reasons why detentions had increased so markedly. The findings of the investigation are expected to be published next year.

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to learningdisabilitypractice.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs