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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 - England, 2011

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:
01 Apr 2002 to 31 Mar 2011


This report contains the latest statistics about cases of guardianship under Sections 7 and 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England. It contains information at national, regional and local authority level. This will be relevant to anyone with responsibility for handling applications for guardianship or who is involved in monitoring uses of the Mental Health Act and the rights of people with mental disorders. It will be of particular interest to local social services authorities who are the named guardians in the majority of cases and who supply the data used for these statistics.


  • The number of new Guardianship cases fell by 22 per cent between 2009/10 and 2010/11 from 435 to 339 cases. This is the largest reduction in new cases since 2001/02, the first year analysed in this report. The number of new cases in 2010/11 was 40 per cent lower than in 2001/02 when 561 new cases were reported.
  • For the fifth consecutive year there was a decrease in the number of continuing Guardianship cases open at the end of the year. 755 cases were open on 31 March 2011, compared with 804 on 31 March 2010 (a drop of 6 per cent) and 951 on 31 March 2006 (a drop of 21 per cent).
  • There are large regional variations in the rates of Guardianship usage: Local Authorities in the North West had the highest rates of new cases at 13 per 1,000,000 of the population, whereas the East Midlands, London, the East and South East had the lowest rates at 2, 3, 3 and 3 per 1,000,000 respectively. The North West also had the largest rate of continuing cases with 29 per 1,000,000 in the population. This compares to London, the East, the East Midlands and South East with rates of 4, 7, 10 and 10 per 1,000,000 respectively.
  • Variations in the rate of Guardianship usage are also noticeable across different types of authorities. Metropolitan and Unitary authorities had 20 and 19 continuing cases per 1,000,000 in the population respectively, whist Outer and Inner London had 3 and 6 per 1,000,000 respectively.
  • These variations in Guardianship usage are also very apparent at Local Authority level. More than half of continuing cases were dealt with by just 16 per cent of Local Authorities in England (24 out of 152 authorities).


Last edited: 31 May 2022 3:16 pm