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Publication, Part of

Mental Health Bulletin, First report on experimental statistics from Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) annual returns, 2003-2007

Official statistics, Experimental statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Mental Health Trusts, Independent Sector Health Care Providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Country, Primary Care Organisations, Care Trusts, NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, Regions, Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, County
Date Range:
01 Apr 2003 to 31 Mar 2007


First report and experimental statistics from the Mental Health Minimum Data Set annual return, 2003-2007

This bulletin introduces a set of new, experimental national statistics on NHS services for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.

It is the first national report to use data from Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS) and covers the years 2003-04 to 2006-07.


The results are published as experimental statistics because the design of the analysis is new and there are still some data quality issues. The NHS Information Centre welcomes feedback on both issues. The data used for this bulletin show:

  • the number accessing specialist services, which cover care by specialist psychiatric teams in hospital or in the community, has risen over the four years covered by the report, reaching more than 1.1 million in 2006-07
  • of this number, about one in ten spent time as an inpatient in a mental hospital, with one in four inpatients spending some time detained compulsorily under the Mental Health Act
  • in 2006-7 there were nearly 4,800 records with a hospital stay exceeding a year a fall from earlier years. In 2006-07 more than half (55,900) of records that included a hospital stay showed an average length of stay that lasted less than a month
  • 106,600 people spent time in hospital in 2006-07 about seven thousand less than in 2003-04. Within the same time period, figures suggest the number of NHS beds available reduced by about 1,700 (from 23,800 in 2004-05 to 22,100 in 2006-07)
  • although more men than women spent time as hospital inpatients (54,900 men compared to 51,600 women) in 2006-07, women outnumbered men as users of outpatient and community mental health services by more than 100,000 (413,500 men compared to 521,300 women).

The bulletin is accompanied by:

Important note.

Comparisons with information in the annual publication: Inpatients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and other legislation, England 1997097 to 2007-2008 (the KP90 publication)

The Mental Health Bulletin is published on the same day as the KP90 publication. In relation to the Mental Health Act, the KP90 publication is the authoritative source of statistics, whilst The Mental Health Bulletin findings are experimental statistics.

There are differences between the number of formal admissions reported in the KP90 publication and the number of people detained in hospital during the year reported in the Mental Health Bulletin. Some differences may be accounted to different data sources and the experimental nature of the analyses presented in the Mental Health Bulletin. However there are also fundamental differences in the services covered by both publications and in what is being counted.

The KP90 publication includes data from some services which do not complete the MHMDS including:

  • learning disability services
  • high secure hospitals
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • independent hospitals.

It should be noted too that the KP90 counts 'uses' of the Mental Health Act, whilst the Mental Health Bulletin statistics count people who are subject to the Act. One person can be formally admitted more than once and in more than one provider organisation during a single year but will only be counted once per year in the Mental Health Bulletin.


Last edited: 12 October 2020 3:24 pm