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Monitoring the Mental Health Act report

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Monitoring the Mental Health Act is our annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA). It looks at how providers are caring for patients, and whether patient’s rights are being protected.

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In 2017/18:

We carried out 1,165 visits, met with 3,993 patients and required 6,049 actions from providers.

Our Second Opinion Appointed Doctor service carried out 14,503 visits to review patient treatment plans, and changed treatment plans in 27% of their visits.

We received 2,319 complaints and enquiries about the way the MHA was applied to patients.

We were notified of 189 deaths of detained patients by natural causes, 48 deaths by unnatural causes and 10 yet to be determined verdicts.

We were notified of 715 absences without leave from secure hospitals.

What we found

The key findings of our monitoring visits are:

  • There is a general trend of improvement in the areas that we have measured. This echoes our experience of inspection visits.
  • Our greatest concern is about the quality and safety of care provided on mental health wards; in particular on acute wards for adults of working age.
  • Our MHA review visits find an increasing amount of care planning that is detailed, comprehensive and developed with patients and carers being involved. However, a substantial proportion of the care plans of detained patients that we have examined are still of a poor quality.

We work with representatives from the Tribunal Service to see how our work may impact or support each other.

Data provided by the Tribunal Service shows that there was a slight fall in applications, and a proportionate fall in absolute discharges, for both detained patients and patients under a community treatment order.

Source: Tribunal Secretariat, as published in past Monitoring the Mental Health Act reports.

Previous Monitoring the Mental Health Act reports

Read our annual reports from previous years:

Last updated:
06 March 2019


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