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CQC responds to latest statistics on detentions under the Mental Health Act

30 November 2016
  • Public

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

In response to the data, Dr Paul Lelliott, 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.”

We announced in this year’s Monitoring the Mental Health Act report that we will look at areas of the Mental Health Act in more depth in 2017. This work will focus on specific topics and their impact on patients subject to the Act, such as the rising numbers of detentions. By taking this approach, we will be able to provide more detail on the topics that people who use services and providers have told us they would find helpful.

Last updated:
29 May 2017