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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 - England, 2009-2010, 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 1999 to 31 Mar 2010


This bulletin summarises information about uses of the Mental Health Act 1983. It includes information from high security psychiatric hospitals as well as from other NHS service providers and independent hospitals.

The latest figures for 2009/10 show that 16,622 patients were detained in hospital at the end of the year, an increase of 3.4 per cent from last year. Taken together with the number of people on Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) at 31 March (3,325) these figures suggest that increasing numbers of people are being subject to restrictions under the Mental Health Act. The figures also show major changes in the number of formal detentions, uses of Place of Safety Orders and CTOs.


Detentions in hospital

  • Total detentions, including detentions subsequent to admission and detentions after removal to a place of safety, rose by 1,692 (3.5 per cent) to 49,417, which was the largest increase in three years.
  • There were 30,774 formal admissions to hospital, which represent an increase of 7.3 per cent from 2008/09. Formal admissions for assessment (under section 2 of the Act) contributed most to this increase.
  • Whereas last year the increase in formal admissions was due to an increase in formal admissions to independent sector hospitals, this year's increase was solely due to an increase in formal admissions to NHS facilities.
  • Although the number of formal admissions to independent sector hospitals fell, the percentage of such admissions via the criminal justice system has been rising for the last four years and in the latest figures they were 28 per cent of all formal admissions to independent sector hospitals. There is also evidence that more than 1,000 patients detained in independent sector hospitals at 31 March 2010 had been there for longer than one year.

Place of Safety Orders

  • The number of Place of Safety Orders (where the place of safety was a hospital) rose to 12,300, an increase of 40.4 per cent since 2008/09 and over double the number reported in 2005/06 (when there were 5,877). There was a comparable increase in the number of Place of Safety Orders that resulted in an informal status, so that the person was not further detained.

Community Treatment Orders

  • This year was the first time in which a full year's data was collected about CTOs. There have been 6,237 orders made since the introduction of supervised community treatment (SCT) in November 2008 and the data show that just 1,965 (31.5 per cent) of these orders had ended (either via a revocation or a discharge) by 31 March 2010. This suggests some people are being kept on SCT for long periods of time.


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Last edited: 8 September 2020 4:36 pm