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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 - England, 2005

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Regions, Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs), Government Office Regions, Local Authorities
Date Range:
31 Mar 1998 to 31 Mar 2005


The purpose of guardianship is to enable patients to receive care in the community where it cannot be provided without the use of compulsory powers. Section 7 of the Mental Health Act 2003 allows for guardianship under the auspices of a council on the recommendation of two doctors and an application by an approved social worker or nearest relative.

This report has information on the number of cases of guardianship that councils were responsible for during the last year. Data is available on the main disorder, gender and relationship of the guardian to the client.

If you need more specific breakdowns of the data, have queries or would like to cite information contained within the report, please contact us at or 0845 300 6016.

Key Facts

In the year to 31 March 2005

416 guardianship cases were closed and 466 new cases opened, resulting in 966 cases being open at the end of the year (increase by 5 per cent on 2004).

In almost all cases (99 per cent) guardianship was conferred on the local authority, with the remaining 1 per centconferred on a named individual or organisation.

For cases closed during 2004-05 the average length of guardianship was 19 months. Of these cases 58% were for over 6 months and 42 per centfor 6 months or less. There was considerable variability in average case length by Local Authority, ranging from 1 to 78 months.

The 466 new cases opened in the year to 31 March 2005 are small in number (1 per cent) in comparison with the 45,700 formal detentions in hospital, under the Mental Health Act 1983, for 2003-04.

10 per cent(15 out of 150) of all local authorities accounted for 45 per cent(433 out of 966) of cases open at 31 March 2005.


Last edited: 29 January 2019 8:19 am