To state the obvious, there are few more significant statutory interventions than the use of compulsory powers under the Mental Health Act, and one concerning trend in the last couple of years has been the rising use of these powers.
All of this means that how information is collected in relation to the use of these powers is of vital importance, so it’s worth putting away any aversion to statistics and responding to a consultation on this topic from the NHS Information Centre.
This is looking at the case for scrapping the existing standalone data collection on Mental Health Act powers (or KP90 to its friends) and instead collecting this information instead through the Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMD), which collects a host of other data about the use of specialist mental healthcare.
As I understand it, the key advantages of the change are:-
- Better information about the care pathways taken by people detained under the Act or placed on community treatment orders and about how long people are detained. Information on this could help improve the commissioning and design of services in local areas.
- Breaking down the use of compulsory powers under the Act by employment status, diagnosis and, crucially, ethnicity, rather than just gender, as the KP90 collection currently does.
So it’s worth answering the consultation questionnaire if you get a moment.