Mental Health Act detentions rise by 10 per cent

Figures from health and social care information centre also show that detentions to private hospitals rose by 24% in 2014-15

Photo: Time to Change

Mental Health Act detentions rose almost 10% last year, the most significant annual increase on record, new figures show.

There were 58,399 detentions under the act in 2014-15, an increase of 9.8% on the previous year, according to figures published by the Health and Social Care Information. The rise in detentions is almost double the 5.5% rise in 2013-14 and marks the largest yearly increase since the centre began collecting data in 2003.


A total of 25,117 patients were subject to the act in 2014-15, up 6.7% on the previous year. Of these, 19,656 were detained in hospitals.

Detentions in NHS hospitals rose 8.2% to 58,399 in 2014-15. But the greatest percentage rise was seen in detentions in private and other non-NHS hospitals. Detentions to these units, which are often used when NHS beds are full, hit 6,430 in 2014-15, a 24.6% rise on 2013-14 and more than double the level five years ago.

The figures also show 5,461 people were treated under Community Treatment Orders in 2014-15, up 6.7% on 2013-14. CTOs place people on compulsory supervised community treatment with strict conditions.

A second report, also published by the information centre today, shows that 1.85 million people were in contact with mental health and learning disability services in 2014-15. The vast majority of patients (94.3%) did not spend any time in hospital and were treated in the community.

The dataset also detailed the number of client contacts at several community services that can be key to crisis prevention. Services where the number of client contacts dropped last year included crisis resolution teams, older people community mental health teams and assertive outreach teams. Services where contacts increased included psychiatric liaison teams, community mental health teams for working age adults and early intervention services.

Carl Money, an HSCIC statistician, said: “Together, these reports provide a rich picture, helping us understand how mental health and learning disabilities services are used in England and how the powers under the Mental Health Act are being used.”

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One Response to Mental Health Act detentions rise by 10 per cent

  1. Esther Hack October 30, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    Mental Health Act detentions have risen steadily for many years. In 87 -88 they were 21,897 rising steeply to 38,965 in 97-8 and more slowly to 45,755 in 2009/10 (source KP90 DH/Information Centre statistical bulletins ‘inpatients detained under the MHA and otehr legislation” 1986 to 2010. in 2010-1 45, 248 CQC (2011) monitoring the mental health act in 2010-11. Newcastle upon Tyne, CQC.