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Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 - England, 2008

Publication date: 09:30 September 25, 2008


Between 31 March 2000 and 31 March 2008

  • the number of guardianship cases in force at the end of the year (919) was 8 per cent lower than at its peak (999) in 2000
  • the number of new cases opened during 2007-08 (414) has decreased by 29 per cent (169) compared with 2001 (583), and also showed a decrease of 3 per cent compared with 2006-07

Key Facts

  • 410 guardianship cases were closed and 414 new cases opened, resulting in 919 cases being open at the end of the year.
  • in 99.3 per cent of all continuing cases, guardianship was conferred on the local authority, with the remaining cases (0.7%) conferred on a named individual or other organisation.
  • for cases closed during 2007-08 the average length of guardianship was 25 months. Of these cases 67% were for over 6 months and 33 per cent for 6 months or less. There was considerable variability in average case length by Local Authority, ranging from 1 to 153 months.
  • the 414 new cases opened in the year to 31 March 2008 are small in number in comparison with the 46,539 formal detentions in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 in 2006-07. (KP90)
  • 15 per cent (19 out of 128) of all local authorities accounted for 47 per cent (431 out of 919) of cases open at 31 March 2008.


Date Range: 01 April 2001 to 31 March 2008
Geographical coverage: England
Geographical granularity: Country, Government Office Regions, Local Authorities

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