Press Release : NHS Information Centre
14th October 2009
Health and social care professionals issued just over 2,000 Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) between November 2008 and March 2009 under new powers introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007, says a report from The NHS Information Centre today.
The purpose of a CTO is to allow patients to continue their treatment in the community following discharge from hospital after a period of detention under the Mental Health Act. While on a CTO patients can, if necessary, be recalled to hospital for up to 72 hours, normally for further treatment.
CTOs were introduced in November 2008 and, for the first time, today's report includes information about their use in the national statistical bulletin about uses of the Mental Health Act. The report shows that, at 31 March 2009, 1,755 patients were still on supervised community treatment (SCT), including 22 for whom an independent facility was the responsible provider. Of those subject to SCT, 1,178 were men and 577 were women.
The report also shows that during 2008/09, 207 CTOs involved the patient being recalled to hospital and in 143 cases the CTO was ‘revoked' and the patient went back to be detained in hospital again. Of the CTOs issued, only 33 had ended with the patient being discharged from the order by 31 March 2009.
NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “The report gives us an important early picture of the extent to which these new powers are being used by care professionals for the well-being of patients with severe mental health conditions.Capturing the first five months of implementation, the figures show that an average of roughly 100 mental health patients per week have been discharged from detention onto a community treatment order to continue their treatment in the community. Since, at 31 March 2009, only 33 patients had been discharged from these orders, we can expect that the numbers of patients on supervised community treatment will continue to grow.”
The report, In-patients formally detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 and patients subject to supervised community treatment: 1998-99 to 2008-09, also shows:
* Total formal admissions rose to 28,700 from 28,100 in 2007/08
* Although the total number of formal admissions to all hospitals rose, the number of formal admissions to NHS hospitals fell by one per cent. The overall rise in admissions is due to an increase in the number of formal admissions reported by independent hospitals, a rise of approximately 800 (42 per cent) to 2,800 from 1,900 in 2007-08
* At 31 March 2009, there were 12,300 patients detained in NHS facilities and 3,700 in independent hospitals
* The number of Place of Safety Orders issued by police on people they believed needed a mental health assessment in a hospital increased by 16 per cent to 8,800 from 7,500 in 2007/08. This followed an 18 per cent rise in 2007/08 and a nine per cent rise in 2006/07.
* In 2008-09, 78 per cent (6,200) of Place of Safety Orders did not result in the person being formally admitted to hospital, compared with 71 percent (4,900) in 2007-08.
* In 2008-09, formal admissions of people involved in criminal proceedings (referred to as Court and Prison Disposals) rose by 12 per cent to 2,100 from 2007-08 when there were 1,900.
Tim Straughan continued: “The report shows independent hospitals are being used to an increasing extent as the place to which mentally ill patients are sent when they are formally admitted under the Mental Health Act. It also points to greater use of police powers to remove a person who appears to be mentally disordered to hospital for assessment, even though in the majority of cases this does not result in formal admission to hospital.”