Snapshot shows rise in number of people detained under Mental Health Act

Just over 50% of GP appointments in Suffolk and north Essex were held face-to-face in July, accordin

The figures reveal the number of people detained under the Mental Health Act in Suffolk and Norfolk - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The number of people detained under the mental health act in Suffolk and Norfolk has risen, according to an annual snapshot.

Figures from NHS Digital revealed there were 375 people detained under the MHA in Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust areas on March 31 this year. 

This is an increase compared to 2020, which saw 345 detained and 2019 and 2018, when the figure was 370 people each year. The act compulsory detains people for treatment for their mental disorder. 

There are a set of legal criteria that must be met before a person can be detained in hospital under the MHA for the care and treatment to be provided.

A total of 270 were detained in hospital in 2021 - higher than 2020 when 215 were hospitalised, and 2019 when the figure was 255. 

Once leaving the hospital, patients can end up the subject of a community treatment order (CTO). 

The number of these CTOs has decreased, according to the snapshot. In 2021, 100 people were subject to CTOs in Norfolk and Suffolk, compared to 130 in 2020 and 115 in 2019

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Helen Dewson, head of mental health law at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said: “NSFT provide mental health services for people who have a variety of mental health conditions. For most people, this care and treatment is provided in the community. For others who are very unwell, the care and treatment they need is better provided in hospital.

“The vast majority of people leaving hospital return home to continue their treatment as a community patient. 

"The purpose of a CTO is to allow continuing treatment in the community, and to provide a safe way to help prevent relapse by being able to recall the patient to hospital for treatment if this is in their best interest.”

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.