Addressing workforce and funding pressures on services must accompany mental health act reform

29 October 2019

Responding to NHS Digital’s annual mental health act statistics for 2018-19, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

“Once again, we have seen a worrying rise in the number of detentions under the current mental health act. This increase is despite efforts to reduce inappropriate detentions. As with previous years, we can also see that people from BAME backgrounds are disproportionately affected. 

Once again, we have seen a worrying rise in the number of detentions under the current mental health act. This increase is despite efforts to reduce inappropriate detentions. As with previous years, we can also see that people from BAME backgrounds are disproportionately affected.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive

“The increase in detentions comes at the same time as rapidly growing demand for NHS mental health services. Trusts are trying to meet this demand while the sector faces severe shortages of specialist staff and while funding increases do not always appear to make it to frontline services leaving more patients waiting too long for appropriate care in the right setting.

“We are also seeing the impact of cuts to access to preventative services which do a great deal to provide people with the care they need earlier and before they reach a crisis.

While we are supportive of the targeted and sensible proposals for amending the mental health act, and that the current government has underlined its commitment to achieving these changes, reform of the act alone will not be enough.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive


“While we are supportive of the targeted and sensible proposals for amending the mental health act, and that the current government has underlined its commitment to achieving these changes, reform of the act alone will not be enough. We need to properly equip our services to address the underlying issues affecting how and where people are accessing good quality mental health services.”

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