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Latest figures on detentions under the Mental Health Act published by NHS Digital

30 November 2016: New statistics have been published by NHS Digital1 today on the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act2 in England throughout 2015/16.

Inpatients Formally Detained in Hospitals Under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment is a detailed study based on information from organisations in England which provide Mental Health Services and make use of the Mental Health Act 1983 legislation, as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007.

These include high security psychiatric hospitals as well other NHS service providers and independent hospitals.

The annual report includes a snapshot count from 31 March 2016 which looks at the number of patients detained under the Mental Health Act, including those who were being detained in an independent sector provider (ISP).

The report also provides information around the use of section 1363 of the Mental Health Act, which allows police to remove a person from a public space and take them to a place of safety. These figures are broken down by whether a person was taken to a hospital or a police cell4.

Information is also included on the use of other sections of the Mental Health Act, such as Community Treatment Orders (CTOs)5 and both long and short term detentions in hospital.

An additional report, Mental Health Act statistics: Improved reporting to support better care is released today and explains changes6 to how these statistics are sourced and created from 2016/17 onwards.

This additional report includes comparable statistics from the old and new sources of this information plus some new statistics that are now possible because of the change in how the information is sourced. The new statistics provide more information about uses of the Mental Health Act and the ethnicity of the patients.

Also published today is the Mental Health Bulletin7, which presents the number of people who used adult secondary mental health and learning disability services during 2015-20168.

These statistics can be viewed alongside the Adult Psychological Morbidity Survey9 to provide a more complete picture of mental health in England. The survey was published by NHS Digital in September 2016 and is available here:

The full reports are at:

Inpatients Formally Detained in Hospitals Under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to Supervised Community Treatment:

Mental Health Bulletin 2015/16:



Notes to editors

1. NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our team of information analysis, technology and project management experts create, deliver and manage the crucial digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend. Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to make health and care better. The Health and Social Care Information Centre is a non-departmental body created by statute, also known as NHS Digital. We provide 'Information and Technology for better health and care'. Find out more about our role and remit

2. Detentions under the Mental Health Act are defined in the report as: (a) Detentions on admission to hospital under Part II (Sections 2 and 3) and Part III of the Mental Health Act 1983, and under previous legislation (Fifth Schedule) and other Acts; (b) Detentions subsequent to admission (uses of Part II Sections 2 and 3, following a change of legal status from Section 4, 5 or informal stay in hospital); (c) Detentions under Part II Sections 2 and 3 following the use of Section 136; (d) Detentions following a Community Treatment Order (CTO) revocation.

3. Section 136 allows police to remove an individual from a place to which the public have access to a 'Place of Safety', with a limit of 72 hours. A Place of Safety is defined for the purposes of the act as residential accommodation provided by a local social services authority, a hospital (including independent hospitals), a police station, a care home for mentally disordered patients or any other suitable place where the occupier is willing temporarily to receive the patient.

4. The data published in this report includes some information published by the NPCC for England and Wales, which is available here: There are however some differences in the NPCC data, which for example includes activity of the British Transport Police whose work is not restricted to England (unlike NHS Digital data). It may also include movements to hospitals that do not result in an actual inpatient detention and might not be recorded by the hospital. Further explanation is in the report.

5. The Mental Health Act 2007 (which amended the Mental Health Act 1983) introduced Community Treatment Orders (CTOs, sometimes referred to as supervised community treatment) in November 2008.

6. This is the last official annual statistics report published using the KP90 collection as the data source.  For 2016/17 the Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS) will be the data source for these official annual statistics about the Mental Health Act.  There is more information about this in the report 'Mental Health Act Statistics: Improved reporting to support better care' that accompanies this year's release.

7. The measures from the Mental Health Bulletin were produced to provide additional context to the measures in this report. The Mental Health Bulletin also includes contextual information about the numbers of people who access secondary mental health and learning disability services and those spending time in hospital in the year. Because the MHSDS is a person level dataset it includes detail not available in the KP90 aggregate collection. The limited information on gender previously provided in this report has been omitted in favour of the richer data on age, gender and ethnic group published in the Mental Health Bulletin.

8. Users of these statistics should however bear in mind that the numbers presented in this year's bulletin are an undercount both in terms of coverage and the period covered. This is because this year's report is based on eight months' data from April to November 2016 and include estimates for the full year.

9. The APMS report is published every seven years. This is the fourth publication in the series. High quality screening and assessment tools are used and undiagnosed conditions are identified. Methods are kept comparable, so trends over time can be examined with surveys carried out in 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2014. A random sample of the household population is used, covering the whole adult age range and including people who do not use mental health services.

10. For media enquiries, please contact the press office on 0300 303 3888 or

Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:36 pm