Today the Care Quality Commission has published it's latest annual report on the use of the Mental Health Act.
The full CQC report can be found here
Sophie Corlett, Head of External Relations at the mental health charity Mind, said:
“Whilst the CQC is reporting improvements in some areas of mental health services, especially with regards to patients’ ability to access to legal information, it is clear that there is still much to do. We are particularly concerned that overall uses of the Mental Health Act are still increasing year on year. It was used over 53,000 times in 2013/14, which is 30 per cent higher than 10 years ago.
“It is possible that the increasing use of the Mental Health Act points to the fact that people are simply not getting the support they need early enough and are therefore entering mental health services when they are considerably more unwell.
“Recent research also suggests that doctors are being forced to section people under the mental health act simply to secure a bed for otherwise voluntary patients. It is wholly inappropriate to use this power in such a way, but unsurprising that medical staff feel that they have no alternatives when services are so grossly overstretched.
“Excellent crisis care does exist, but today’s report is a stark reminder of just how much needs to be done to make sure that all people with mental health problems get the help they need.”
Mind recently released a new set of information booklets around legal rights, including the Mental Health Act. These can be found here