NHS Information Centre
The elderly, women and people who are black, widowed or single are more likely to use NHS specialist mental health services, according to a ground-breaking report from The NHS Information Centre out today.
Mental Health Bulletin 2008/09 - Third report from Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) annual returns, 2004-2009 presents new analyses that shows for the first time the effect that age, gender, marital status and ethnicity have on rates of access to mental health services. It also looks at service use in different parts of England.One of the aims of the report is to help NHS trusts accurately identify local need and allocate resources effectively.
Among findings, the report shows that in 2008/09:
* The number of people in contact with mental health services rose 2.7 per cent from 2007/08 to 1,222,400.
* The number of people who were inpatients fell from 105,700 in 2007/2008 to 102,600, a fall of 3.0 per cent.
* People are about ten times more likely to be in touch with services delivered outside hospital than to be an inpatient.
* There is a continuing rise in the percentage of inpatients who were detained, with 31.8 per cent of inpatients spending some time detained under the Mental Health Act during the year
From its demographic analysis of service users, the report shows:
* More women than men used mental health services, but more men than women were treated as inpatients.
* People in the 75 and over age group were about twice as likely as the general population to use mental health services.
* People who were widowed or single were more likely to access such services than their married or divorced counterparts.
* Black and black British people were the ethnic group most likely to access services, compared to Asian and Asian British people who were the group least likely to use mental health services.
* The rate of access to admitted care for black and black British people was nearly three times the rate for all ethnic groups.
* In 2008-2009 53.9 per cent of the Black and Black British group who were inpatients during the year spent time spent time compulsorily detained in hospital, compared with 31.8 per cent of inpatients overall.
The NHS Information Centre's chief executive Tim Straughan said:
“With this bulletin we want to show how information from the Mental Health Minimum Dataset can be used to define the demographic characteristics of people using mental health services, to understand local need and plan and allocate resources for these services.The analyses published today shed new light on the types of people accessing services and their patterns of usage. For example, one theory for the high numbers of black people detained under the Mental Health Act was that they may not be accessing services until they reached a crisis point. However, this report shows that black people are using all mental health services, including those in the community, at a greater proportional rate than other ethnic groups. The bulletin underlines the extent to which older people are using services at a greater rate than those of working age. It also highlights differences in the extent to which people from different parts of the country are accessing services."