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Monitoring the Mental Health Act report

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Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2016/17, our annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA), looks at how providers are caring for patients, and whether patient’s rights are being protected.

Monitoring the Mental Health Act in 2016/17


During 2016/17, we carried out 1,368 monitoring visits, met with 4,114 patients and required 6,475 actions from providers.

Our Second Opinion Appointed Doctor service carried out 14,594 visits to review patient treatment plans, and changed treatment plans in 26% of their visits.

We received 2,353 complaints and enquiries about the way the MHA was applied to patients.

We were notified of 186 deaths of detained patients by natural causes, 54 deaths by unnatural causes and 7 yet to be determined verdicts.

We were notified of 642 absences without leave from secure hospitals.

Our findings

We have seen limited or no improvement in the key concerns we have raised in previous years.

We found:

  • 32% (1,034 of 3,253) of care plans reviewed showed no evidence of patient involvement. This was 29% last year.
  • 17% (594 of 3,434) showed no evidence of consideration of the patient’s particular needs. This was 10% last year.
  • 31% (550 of 1,788) showed no evidence of the patient’s views. In 2015/16, 26% had not been recorded.
  • 17% (588 of 3,372) showed no evidence of consideration of the least restrictive options for care. This compares to 10% of records last year.
  • 24% (570 of 2,403) showed no evidence of discharge planning, compared with 32% last year.

Previous Monitoring the Mental Health Act reports

You can read our annual reports from previous years on The National Archives website:


Last updated:
13 November 2018


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