In 2013 the Mental Health Act was used over 50,000 times to detain patients in hospital, this has been the highest ever recorded. According to the NHS regulator this means that the number of people in England being detained has risen by 12% in the past five years.

One of the main reasons for this could be due to the problems that campaigners have identified, showing there was insufficient support available in the community to help care for patients.

The Care Quality Commission acknowledged this was a “nationally recognised problem” and criticised the use of blanket bans on activities such as internet and phone use and access to outdoor space. Inadequate staffing levels and poor access to GP care were also highlighted as problems in hospital.

MIND chief executive Paul Farmer said NHS bosses needed to “urgently” look at the situation. “There are obvious pressures on the system, which are having a significant impact on the care of people who are at their most unwell,” he said.

The fact that there have been cuts to mental health services over two consecutive years mean people aren’t getting the help they need.

CQC chief executive David Behan said the problems identified were concerning. However he did acknowledge good practice that others could learn from.

“We have seen great advances in treatment and care for people with mental health needs in recent years and met staff committed to reducing the restrictions placed on patients as far as possible.”

Any legal matter can be potentially confusing and stressful and that is particularly so in the area of Mental Health. It is therefore more than ever important in this field for patients who have been detained and their families to have access to professional legal advice of the highest quality given by lawyers who understand the legal complexities involved but also the concerns of patients, detainees and their families.

For further information or to speak to one of our Mental Health team contact one of our offices across Lincolnshire and Newark in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark.

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