Report: NHS Digital – Mental Health Act Detentions Annual Figures – England 2018-19

NHS Digital has published new figures on the number of detentions carried out under the Mental Health Act in 2018-19.

This publication provides the official statistics about people with a mental disorder who are detained in hospital in the interests of their own health or for the safety and protection of others, under the Act. It also covers people treated in the community under a Community Treatment Order.

It includes people in secure psychiatric hospitals, other NHS Trusts and independent providers.

Key facts

In 2018-19:

  • 49,988 new detentions under the Mental Health Act were recorded, but the overall national totals will be higher as not all providers submitted data. Trend comparisons are also affected by improving data quality. For the subset of providers that submitted good quality detentions data in each of the last three years, we estimate there was an increase in detentions of 2.0 per cent from last year. Further information is provided in the Background Data Quality Report.
  • Comparisons can still be made between groups of people using population-based rates, even though the rates shown are based on incomplete data (see Background Data Quality Report for details). Known detention rates were higher for males (91.4 per 100,000 population) than females (83.2 per 100,000 population).
  • Amongst adults, detention rates tend to decline with age. Known detention rates for the 18 to 34 age group (128.9 detentions per 100,000 population) were around a third higher than for those aged 50 to 64 (89.0 per 100,000 population). But rates rose again for the 65+ age group (98.1 per 100,000 population).
  • Amongst the five broad ethnic groups, known rates of detention for the ‘Black or Black British’ group (306.8 detentions per 100,000 population) were over four times those of the White group (72.9 per 100,000 population).
  • Known rates of CTO use for males (11.2 per 100,000 population) were higher than the rate for females (6.1 per 100,000 population). Across age groups, those aged 35 to 49 had the highest rate of CTO use (15.3 known uses per 100,000 population compared to 8.6 uses per 100,000 population for all age groups).
  • Amongst broad ethnic groups, known rates of CTO use for the ‘Black or Black British’ group (53.8 uses per 100,000 population) were over eight times the rate for the White group (6.4 uses per 100,000 population).

The data allows comparisons to be made based on age, sex and ethnicity.

This report does not cover:

  • People in hospital voluntarily for mental health treatment, as they have not been detained under the Act
  • Uses of Section 136 where the place of safety was a police station

National data published from the 2016-17 publication onwards can’t be compared to previous publications due to a change in the data set. However an estimate of the percentage change in detentions is provided each year.

Local comparisons in this current publication may be subject to data quality issues due to missing or incomplete data returns. Further guidance on data quality, including information at provider level, is included in the publication.

Read the full report here.