ward patient number reaches record level
by staff reporter
number of people detained in secure psychiatric wards has reached
its highest ever level, according to a new report
July there were 3,723 people detained in secure forensic units,
according to a factfile published by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental
government said the figures reflect its policy to make sure offenders
with mental health problems are being treated in the most suitable
The Sainsbury Centre's file states the population of high and medium
secure units has almost doubled (45%) between 1996 and 2006.
Although the number in high secure hospitals has fallen, numbers
in medium secure beds have grown consistently.
spokesperson for the Department of Health said: "More medium-secure
services have been built over the last decade and the NHS have been
working to transfer any patients out of high-secure accommodation
if their needs would be better met in lower levels of security.
"We have been working closely with prisons and the NHS to speed
up transfers from prisons for those that are so ill that they cannot
be treated in prison and need to be detained in secure accommodation."
file states most people are admitted to secure hospitals from prison,
and that more than one third of people detained in 2004 had committed
In 2005, 26 people died while being detained in a secure hospital.
The Sainsbury Centre's
Forensic Mental Health Services factfile (pdf)
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