Mental Health Act detention rates rising due to "considerable pressures" on mental health services, says CQC

Statement / comment
23 January 2018

Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said,

“The report is further evidence that declining access to community services is leading to more people reaching mental health crises and highlights the limitations of relying on legislative change to reduce rates of detention under the Mental Health Act.

“The government is right to look at why detentions under the act have risen and why some ethnic groups are detained more often than others in the Mental Health Act Review. But they must remember that the best way to prevent someone being detained is to prevent them from falling into a crisis in the first place; to understand that poverty, poor housing and poor physical health impact on a person’s wellbeing and psyche. With many services struggling to keep up with demand it can be hard to provide the early intervention needed to prevent people becoming seriously ill.

“Psychiatrists are seeing these “considerable pressures” on mental health services highlighted in the report first hand, in part because of a workforce problem. Without enough psychiatrists to lead specialist mental health teams we cannot deliver the high-quality care that our patients deserve- care that could perform crucial early intervention to prevent the need to detain someone under the Mental Health Act in the first place.”

Read the full briefing from CQC.

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