This publication contains the official statistics about uses of the Mental Health Act ('the Act') in England during 2021-22.
Under the Act, people with a mental disorder may be formally detained in hospital (or 'sectioned') in the interests of their own health or safety, or for the protection of other people. They can also be treated in the community but subject to recall to hospital for assessment and/or treatment under a Community Treatment Order (CTO).
In 2016-17, the way we source and produce these statistics changed. Previously these statistics were produced from the KP90 aggregate data collection. They are now primarily produced from the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS). The MHSDS provides a much richer data source for these statistics, allowing for new insights into uses of the Act. People may be detained in secure psychiatric hospitals, other NHS Trusts or at Independent Service Providers (ISPs). All organisations that detain people under the Act must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
In recent years, the number of detentions under the Act have been rising. An independent review has examined how the Act is used and has made recommendations for improving the Mental Health Act legislation.
In responding to the review, the government said it would introduce a new Mental Health Bill to reform practice.
This publication does not cover:
- People in hospital voluntarily for mental health treatment, as they have not been detained under the Act (see the Mental Health Bulletin).
- Uses of section 136 where the place of safety was a police station; these are published by the Home Office.