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CQC to investigate rising number of mental health detentions


2 December 2016

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The Care Quality Commission is launching an investigation into the rising number of detentions under the Mental Health Act in England.

A report from NHS Digital found that 63,622 people were detained under the Act in 2015/16 – a 9% increase on the year before.

As a result, the CQC has started investigating the reasons behind the rise, with the results expected to be published next year.

The Care Quality Commission is launching an investigation into the rising number of detentions under the Mental Health Act in England.

A report from NHS Digital found that 63,622 people were detained under the Act in 2015/16 – a 9% increase on the year before.

As a result, the CQC has started investigating the reasons behind the rise, with the results expected to be published next year.

The report includes a snapshot count of detentions in March 2016, revealing that 25,577 people were detained under the Act of which 20,151 were kept in hospitals.

NHS Digital noted that this is the highest number since the organisation began publishing the information in 2005/06.

For comparison, at that time 14,625 people were detained in hospital at the end of the year.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “The causes of the rise in the use of the Act are likely to be complex, but the increase in detentions needs to be examined carefully.

Lelliott said the rise could be due to repeated detentions, signalling a lack of community support for people with serious mental health problems or “that some services are operating ‘revolving door’ admissions”.

He added: “To get to the bottom of this, we are launching an investigation into the reasons why detentions under the Mental Health Act in England continue to rise. We expect to publish our findings from this next year.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Health said: “People with mental illness need the best possible care and local areas are investing £693m more to make sure the right services are in place.

“Decisions about detention under the Mental Health Act are clinically led but the CQC will be looking into the rise in cases.”

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