Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions

  • L.S. Choong (a1)
  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions
      Available formats
      ×
Abstract
Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
Hide All
1 Jones, R. Mental Health Act Manual, 13th Edition. Sweet and Maxwell, 2010.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 1 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 13 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 2nd January 2018 - 22nd July 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions

  • L.S. Choong (a1)
Submit a response

eLetters

Another view of tribunals

Hugh Series, Consultant psychiatrist and medical member First tier tribunal (mental health)
23 May 2011

Dr Choong writes of his perception that the number of section 2 detentions is rising, and refers to ‘an uncritical approach to using guidance that results in Section 2 being used much more frequently now’ and ‘the waste of time and resources in dealing with the inevitable extra tribunals’.(1)

His perception mirrors the national picture. From 1998 to 2008, totaluses of section 2 in NHS hospitals in England went from 20,874 to 23,482,(2) and continue to rise (25,622 in 2009/10).(3) Total uses of section 3 dropped slightly less over the same period from 22,738 to 21,538. There was a corresponding increase in conversions from section 2 to section 3 (4,048 to 5,145). Data have to be examined carefully as figures may be given for England alone or England and Wales, may give NHS and independent hospital data either separately or together, and may referto total uses or admissions. Data usually refer to instances of detention,not the number of different patients detained.

As to tribunals being a waste of time and resources, I think there isroom for another view. In 2007/8, 21,849 applications were received of which 10,380 were withdrawn before the hearing and 9,137 were heard (3,157outstanding at year end). Of those that were heard, 17% resulted in the section being discharged, that is over 1,550 patients.(4) It is not possible to say in how many cases the responsible clinician discharged thesection in advance of the hearing because the impending hearing focused his or her attention on the question of whether continued detention was justifiable, but if this was the case in even 10% of those cases, this would amount to over 1,000 patients being released from detention of doubtful legality because of a forthcoming tribunal.

If patients are first placed on section 2 and then converted to section 3 they will be entitled to two tribunal hearings within the first few months of detention, rather than the one they would have if section 3 were used initially. Moreover the first tribunal would occur within weeks of admission, instead of up to several months later. Given the substantialnumber of detentions that are ended by tribunals, the decision to use section 3 rather than section 2 initially would appear to result in a large number of people being detained on doubtful grounds for longer than necessary.

Statistics on mangers’ panels are not published, so it is much more difficult to make comparable arguments about their usefulness based on objective information about their decisions.

As a clinician, I believe that the discipline of having to prepare for tribunals by thinking through the reasons why my patients should be detained often leads to better decision-making and less restrictive care plans. The time it takes to write reports and attend tribunals seems a fair price to pay to ensure that those detained against their will have aneffective right to challenge their situation.

References

(1) Choong, LS. The rise in the number of Section 2 detentions (letter) Psychiatrist 2011; 35: 198

(2)The Health and Social Care Information Centre. In-patients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to supervised community treatment: 1998-99 to 2008-09. October 2009. Available at http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/mental-health/mental-health-act/in-patients-formally-detained-in-hospitals-under-the-mental-health-act-1983-and-patients-subjects-to-supervised-community-treatment:-1998-99-to-2008-09

(3) The Health and Social Care Information Centre. In-patients formally detained in hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to supervised community treatment, Annual figures, England 2009/10. Supporting data, table 8. Available at http://www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/inpatientdetmha0910

(4) Administrative Justice & Tribunals Council. Annual Report 2007/8. TSO, London 2008, at Appendix G. Available at http://www.justice.gov.uk/ajtc/docs/Annual_Report_2007_8.pdf
... More

Conflict of interest: None Declared

Write a reply

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *