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Publication, Part of

Mental Health Bulletin, Second report on experimental statistics from Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS), annual returns - 2003-2008

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 2008


Second report on experimental statistics from the Mental Health Minimum Data Set annual returns, 2003-2008

This second report to use data from Mental Health Minimum Dataset annual returns updates the first Mental Health Bulletin published in October 2008 with data from 2007-2008. It provides analyses at national level of all England data and covers the years 2003-2004 to 2007-2008. Trust level analyses by provider and commissioner are available online only.


The results are published as experimental statistics because there are still some issues with data coverage and data quality and because the methodology of the analyses is still new. However the quality of data about patients' ethnicity in the MHMDS is now very good. 96.8 per cent of inpatients had a valid MHMDS record of ethnicity (this compares with 86.6 per cent of Admitted Patient Care records (APC) for the NHS as a whole). Mental Health service users who did not spend time in hospital had 84 per cent valid ethnic records and this is a noticeable improvement on previous years.

The data show that during 2007-2008:

  • nearly 1.2 million people were in contact with NHS specialist mental services for adults - this is a rate of access for the population of England of about one person in fifty
  • the number of people in contact with these services rose by 39,300 (3.4 per cent) between 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. Women accounted for about 56 per cent of the total number of people in 2007-2008 for whom gender was specified (1,187,617) and for 70 per cent of this increase.
  • about one in eleven of people using secondary mental health services (8.9 per cent) spent time as an inpatient in mental hospital. 52 per cent of this group were men and 48 per cent were women. One in three inpatients spent time compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act.
  • the other ten in eleven people (91.1 per cent) who did not spend any time as an inpatient were treated as outpatients and by community mental health services. 56 per cent of this group were women and 44 per cent were men and women outnumbered men by 122,700.
  • the proportion of mental health service users who spent time in hospital was higher for some black and minority ethnic groups than for the White Group:
    • 18.9 per cent of service users in the Black or Black British group spent time in hospital
    • 14.3 per cent of the Mixed group
    • 11.5 per cent of the Asian or Asian British group
    • 9.7 per cent of the White group
  • once again the most recent figures also seem consistent with the findings of the National Mental Health and Ethnicity Census (Count Me In) regarding the over-representation of some BME groups amongst detained patients
  • in 2007-2008 over 5,000 records (out of 108,551 that included a hospital stay) showed a hospital stay exceeding a year. Over half of all records that included a hospital stay showed an average length of stay of less than a month.

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)

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) and 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 3:09 pm