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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983, England - 2013

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 2004 to 31 Mar 2013


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.

Key Facts

  • The number of new Guardianship cases fell for the third consecutive year, from 337 cases in the 2011/12 reporting year to 271 cases in 2012/13 (a fall of 20 per cent). This is a steeper rate of reduction than the 3 per cent fall between 2010/11 and 2011/12, but consistent with the 21 per cent fall during the previous year.
  • The number of continuing cases at the end of the year continues to fall and was 619 at 31st March 2013. This is the eighth consecutive year of reduction in continuing cases and is 34 per cent lower than the ten year peak of 937 cases (at the end of the 2004/05 financial year). The number fell 3 per cent from the 641 reported cases at the end of 2011/12.
  • Regions across the country showed considerable variations in the rates of Guardianship usage:

- Local authorities in the North West continued to have the highest number of cases, with 76 new cases reported in 2012/13. This accounted for over a quarter (28 per cent) of all new cases across England.

- This also meant that, despite falling from 13 cases per million in the previous year to 11 cases per million of their population during 2012/13, the North West still had the highest proportion of new cases in England as well as the highest proportion of continuing and closed cases during the year.

- This was in contrast to the East Midlands, East of England and London which all reported fewer than 2 new cases per million population and represented 3 per cent, 4 per cent and 5 per cent of the total new cases respectively across England for 2012/13.

- All regions, with the exception of the North West and North East reported a lower number of continuing cases at the end of the year than in 2011/12.

  • As with 2011/12, 16 per cent of the local authorities handled just over 50 per cent of the continuing cases at the end of the year (25 out of 152 authorities).
  • Guardianship cases in the East of England had the longest average length (closed cases only), averaging 38.5 weeks, which is 15 weeks longer than the national average of 23.5 weeks. The East Midlands (33.5 weeks) was also considerably higher than the average for England.


Last edited: 8 September 2020 2:51 pm