Use of powers
to detain people under mental health increased by fifth
by Angela Hussain
enforcement of powers to detain people under mental health law increased
by a fifth over ten years, new research claims.
The number of detentions for mental
disorders in England per annum increased by 20% from 1996 to 2006,
study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) states.
Over the decade the number of detention
orders increased by 20%, from 42,844 to 51,361.
This increase is despite a drop
in the number of voluntary admissions and NHS psychiatric beds over
the same period.
The BMJ study confirmed that private
units are increasingly used to detain psychiatric patients. Figures
released earlier this year showed a 24 per cent increase of compulsory
detentions in independent hospitals between 2006 and 2007.
The BMJ study also reported that psychiatric admissions for people
with alcohol and drug disorders rose by almost a third from 2003-6.
The BMJ study, published earlier this month, is entitled: A Retrospective
Analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics: Involuntary Admissions
under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the number of Psychiatric beds
in England 1996-2006.
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