25 October, 2012 10:24 AM
The number of Mental Health Act detentions and Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) has increased in the past year, according to official figures.
Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows 48,600 people were detained in NHS and independent hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 last year – a increase of 5% on 2010/11 figures.
The number of people detained in private sector hospitals shot up by 600 (21%) to 3,600. This is said to be largely due to a 45% increase in detentions under Section 2 of the Act in the past year.
The number of CTOs also rose to 4,200 in 2011/12, an increase of 10% on the previous 12 months.
One in three place of safety orders (8,700) were made whereby the person was taken to a police custody suite. The remaining 14,900 people were taken to hospital as a place of safety.
“This is the first time figures have been available showing the total number of detentions in police custody under the Mental Health Act of people in need of a place of safety,” said chief executive of HSCIC Tim Straughan.
“Many people working in the area of mental health will be interested to know the extent to which police custody is being used and the fact that more than one in three place of safety orders is to police custody rather than a hospital.”