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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Inpatients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment: 2015/16, Annual figures

Official statistics, National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Country, Strategic Health Authorities, NHS Trusts, Primary Care Organisations, Care Trusts, Mental Health Trusts, Government Office Regions, Independent Sector Health Care Providers, Regions
Date Range:
01 Apr 2015 to 31 Mar 2016


This publication summarises information collected about uses of The Mental Health Act (1983) ('The Act'), as amended by The Mental Health Act 2007 ('The 2007 Act') and by other legislation, during 2015/16. Under The Act, people with a mental disorder may formally be detained in hospital in the interests of their own health or safety, or can be treated in the community but subject to recall to hospital when necessary for assessment and/or treatment under a Community Treatment Order (sometimes referred to as 'Supervised Community Treatment' or 'SCT').
The release consists of a report providing high level statistics at a national level, which is accompanied by reference data tables and a machine readable file including key measures at provider level.
The publication also makes reference to relevant figures from other data sources, including equalities information from the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Dataset (MHLDDS) and Data on the Use of section 136 Mental Health Act 1983 collected and published by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC). The Mental Health Bulletin 2015/16 is published on the same day as this report. Whilst this report remains the official source of figures for the year, the Mental Health Bulletin publication presents several complementary measures, broken by age, gender, ethnic group and CCG - detail that is not available from the collection that this publication is based upon.
In future years, information on uses of The Act will be sourced from the same information used in the Mental Health Bulletin. This will allow uses of The Act to be fully understood in the wider context of service use for the first time. Details of this change along with example analysis of what will now be possible using the MHSDS can be found in a special report included in this publication called Mental Health Act Statistics, Improved reporting for better care.


During 2015/16

  • The total number of detentions under The Act continued to rise, increasing by 9 per cent to 63,622 compared to 58,399 detentions in 2014/15 This compares with an increase of 10 per cent between 2013/14 and 2014/15 and is the highest number since 2005/06 (43,361 detentions) a rise of just under a half over the period.
  • The use of section 136 of The Act (under which people were brought to hospital as a 'place of safety') increased by 18 per cent since last year, to 22,965. This rise should be viewed in the context of the fall in the use of police cells as a place of safety over the same period, which was reported in data released earlier this year by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC)

At the end of March 2016

  • 25,577 people were subject to The Act of whom 20,151 were detained in hospitals. There has been a continuing increase in the number of people detained in independent sector providers (ISPs) and in the proportion of all detained patients that they represent since NHS Digital started publishing this series of official statistics in 2006. On 31 March 2016 5,954 people were being treated as detained patients in independent hospitals, representing 30 per cent of all detained patients on that day and the highest proportion since we began publishing this information as at 31 March 2006, when 17 per cent of detained patients were in a private hospital.


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Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:23 pm