The CQC has today released its annual report about the use of the Mental Health Act. It has highlighted a number of areas of concern which include:
• Mental Health Act detentions have been rising for 25 years.
• There are problems with care planning, including in a third of cases failing to involve people in the development of their care plans.
• Around 15 per cent of people who should automatically have been referred to advocacy were not.
• One in ten people were not informed of their legal rights on admission.
• Variations in the use of physical restraint.
In response Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at Mind, said:
“Being sectioned is one of the most serious things that can happen to someone in terms of their mental health. With the number of detentions higher than ever this report is crucial in understanding how services are supporting people at their most unwell.
“There are some areas of real concern. Poor care planning and problems with advocacy are depriving people of a voice while they are in hospital, the overuse of physical restraint and the use of other forms of coercion that have no place in modern healthcare are still alarmingly wide-spread, and certain groups, such as young black men, continue to be worryingly over-represented in the figures. These aren’t new issues - the CQC has been highlighting them for years yet little has changed.
“It is clear that the Act and the way it’s applied isn’t working. With an independent review currently underway, there is an important opportunity to fight for legislation that is fit for purpose, and puts people at the heart of decisions made about their care. We know that we can’t look at the Act in isolation, without addressing the ongoing failures in mental health services which result in people ending up in crisis in the first place.”
Mind collects information on behalf of CQC about the quality of care people experience. This information helps the CQC make decisions about when, where and what to inspect.