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Trends in the use of Part II of the Mental Health Act 1983 in seven English local authority areas

  • Paul Lelliott (a1) and Bernard Audini (a1)
Abstract
Background

Data collected by the Department of Health show a continuing increase in the rate of formal detention in hospital under Part II of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Aims

To establish whether the increase in formal detentions is uniform across subgroups of the population.

Method

Data related to use of Part II of the Act between 1991 and 1997 collected by seven English local authorities were examined. Rates of compulsory admission were standardised to age, gender and ethnicity-specific populations.

Results

Over the 8-year period the overall rate of detention under Part II increased by 32%. It increased in all three major ethnic groupings; the rate of increase was greater for men than for women (38% v. 26%) and, in particular, for younger men compared with younger women (43% v. 28%).

Conclusions

A combination of factors probably accounts for these findings, including service factors (particularly reduction in bed numbers), a culture of risk aversion, and changes in the effect of substance misuse on the presentation of mental illness.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Paul Lelliott, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Unit, 6th Floor, 83 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HW UK. Tel: 020 72270820
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. This study was funded by a National Health Service Research and Development Grant.

Footnotes
References
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Audini, B. & Lelliott, P. (2002) Age, gender and ethnicity of those detained under Part II of the Mental Health Act 1983. British Journal of Psychiatry, 180, 222226.
Audini, B., Duffett, R. & Lelliott, P. (1999) Over-occupancy in London's acute psychiatric units – factor fiction? Psychiatric Bulletin, 23, 590594.
Department of Health (1999) In-patients Formally Detained in Hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and other Legislation, England: 1988–89 to 1998–99. London: Government Statistical Service.
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Hotopf, M., Wall, S., Buchanan, A., et al (2000) Changing patterns in the use of the Mental Health Act 1983 in England, 1984–1996. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176, 479484.
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Office for National Statistics (2002) National Statistics Statbase. www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/xdataset.asp.
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Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (1998) Acute Problems: A Survey of the Quality of Care in Acute Psychiatric Wards. London: Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.
Sheppard, D. (1996) Learning the Lesson. Mental Health Inquiry Reports Published in England and Wales between 1969–1994 and their Recommendations for Improving Practice (2nd edn). London: Zito Trust.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Trends in the use of Part II of the Mental Health Act 1983 in seven English local authority areas

  • Paul Lelliott (a1) and Bernard Audini (a1)
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