This publication contains the official statistics about uses of the Mental Health Act1 ('The Act') in England during 2016/17.
Under The Act, people with a mental disorder may be formally detained in hospital (or 'sectioned') in the interests of their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people. They can also be treated in the community but subject to recall to hospital for assessment and/or treatment under a Community Treatment Order (CTO).
Last year, we announced changes to the way we source and produce these statistics2 . Previously these statistics were produced from the KP90 aggregate data collection. They are now produced from the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). This change is estimated to save the NHS over £350,000 per year.
The MHSDS provides a much richer data source for these statistics, allowing for new insights into uses of The Act. Some of these new insights are shown in this publication.
However, some providers are not yet submitting data, or submitting incomplete data and so figures must be interpreted with caution. Data completeness is still improving and further guidance is provided.
As announced in last year's report, the name of this publication has also changed. Previously it was named 'Inpatients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment'.
UPDATE – 10 September 2018: Corrections have been made to the published numbers of people detained at 31 March 2017. There are no changes to any counts of detentions in the publication, only to counts of people detained at 31 March 2017. Updates have been made to Table 5 of the Data Tables. The CSV file and references in the Summary Report and Background Data Quality report have also been corrected. NHS Digital apologises for any inconvenience caused.
1 The Mental Health Act 1983 as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007 and other legislation.
2 Announced in the special feature produced as part of the 2015/16 publication