Mental Health Act: the rise in the use of the MHA to detail people in England There is no single reason why more detentions are being made under the Mental Health Act than ever before, a review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has concluded.
Instead, the rise in detentions is down to a range of different factors, which can vary across the country. Some of these are also indicators of a healthcare system that is under considerable strain.
Healthcare professionals can apply to detain people under the Mental Health Act to ensure they receive the treatment, care and support they need in hospitals. Although this is in in the person’s best interests, it is against their wishes. For this reason, the law is supposed to be used only when other options have been considered already, such as whether support can be provide in the community or if the patient can be cared for in hospital on a voluntary basis.
In the ten year period between 2005/06 and 2015/16, the number of detentions increased by 40% – from 45,484 to 63,622.
As part of its role in monitoring the use of the Mental Health Act in England, CQC made a commitment to explore what could be causing this trend. Care Quality Commission