‘Inappropriate use’ of sectioning claim Charities have raised
concerns that people with learning difficulties are being
“inappropriately” detained in psychiatric hospitals under the
Mental Health Act 1983.
Mencap has claimed there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that
people who should be placed in the community are becoming “trapped”
Head of public affairs David Congdon said: “Social services are
not providing for people’s needs, so health services are picking up
the pieces.” He added that sectioning was being used as a way to
get people into services when agencies do not know where else to
place them. Mencap is looking into how many cases have
Rob Greig, chair of the Valuing People task force, which is
tasked with implementing the government’s Valuing People white
paper, said he was unaware of “inappropriate” use of sectioning but
said he would welcome fresh evidence.
According to a Healthcare Commission report published last year,
about 1,000 people with learning difficulties are being held in
hospitals either under the Mental Health Act or having been
The task force is working with the commission on gathering
information about people with learning difficulties who have been
placed in independent sector hospitals, and on 3,000 people placed
in NHS residential locations.
If you know of any cases where people with learning difficulties
have been inappropriately placed in hospital, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org