This publication provides the most timely picture available of people using NHS funded secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services in England. These are experimental statistics which are undergoing development and evaluation. This information will be of use to people needing access to information quickly for operational decision making and other purposes. More detailed information on the quality and completeness of these statistics is made available later in our Mental Health Bulletin: Annual Report publication series.
• COVID-19 and the production of statistics
Due to the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) disruption, it would seem that this is now starting to affect the quality and coverage of some of our statistics, such as an increase in non-submissions for some datasets. We are also starting to see some different patterns in the submitted data. For example, fewer patients are being referred to hospital and more appointments being carried out via phone/telemedicine/email. Therefore, data should be interpreted with care over the COVID-19 period.
• Delayed measures
For the Performance September 2020 publication some of the measures due for release were delayed for operational reasons. The below measures were made available 18 December 2020:
- The monthly outputs, Access and Waiting Times measures (ED32, all EIPxx, MHS32 quarterly).
- The quarterly output, Mental Health Services Selected NHS England Measures.
- The quarterly output, Women in contact with Mental Health Services who were new or expectant mothers.
One set of measures remains unpublished, 72 hour follow-up measures (MHS78, MHS79 and MHS80); these will be published as soon as they are available. NHS Digital apologises for the inconvenience caused.
• Early release of statistics
To support the ongoing COVID-19 work, October 2020 monthly statistics were made available early and presented on our supplementary information pages.
• Changing existing measures
The move to MHSDS version 4.1 from April 2020 has brought with it changes to the dataset; the construction of a number of measures have been changed as a result. Improvements in the methodology of reporting delay of discharge has also resulted in a change in the construction of the measure from the April 2020 publication onwards.
From August 2020 onwards, the methodology for calculating restrictive interventions (MHS76 and MHS77) in the reporting month has been updated to include all restraints that span several months. Previously the measure only includes restraints that started or ended in the month and did not include those spanning more than 2 months. This change predominately impacts segregation.
From September 2020 onwards, the methodology for MHS26 (Delayed transfer of care) has been updated. Previously only the first midnight of a delayed transfer of care within a hospital provider spell was excluded. The updated methodology now excludes the first midnight for delay start date where there is a gap of more than one day within the same hospital provider spell. This is to take into account valid gaps between delay reasons.
Full details of these changes are available in the associated Metadata file.
From September 2020 onwards, a presentational change has been introduced to restrictive interventions csv files to exclude providers with no inpatients.
• New measures
A number of new measures have been included from the July 2020 publication onwards:
- MHS81 Number of Detentions
- MHS82 Number of Short Term Orders
- MHS83 Number of uses of Section 136
- MHS84 Number of Community Treatment Orders
Full details of these are available in the associated Metadata file.
• CCG and STP changes
A number of changes to NHS organisations were made operationally effective from 1 April 2020. These changes included: 74 former Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) merging to form 18 new CCGs; alterations to commissioning hubs; provider mergers; and the incorporation of Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) into the NHS commissioning hierarchy. The Organisation Data Service (ODS) is responsible for publishing organisation and practitioner codes, along with related national policies and standards. A series of ODS data amendments are required to support the introduction of these changes. This would normally result in a number of organisations becoming ‘legally’ closed including the 74 former CCGs. However, to minimise any burden to the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic and remove any non-critical activity, these organisations remain open within ODS data. ODS aim to both legally and operationally close predecessor organisations involved in April 2020 Reconfiguration on 30 September 2020.
Activity may be recorded against either former or current organisations, depending on data providers and processors ability to transition to the new organisation codes at this time. The same activity will not be recorded against both former and current organisations.
There is no impact on the statistics presented here as CCG is derived in all cases within this publication.