South London and Maudsley Trust hospitals section highest number of patients in the UK, according to new data

Josh Salisbury (31 January, 2020)

The cause is not fully understood, but Trust officials say the high prevalence of Psychosis in south London has a significant impact

23054Maudsley Hospital, Camberwell

The South London and Maudsley Trust sections the highest number of people in the country under the Mental Health Act, according to new data.

The figures, presented to the Trust’s board this week, reveals that the Trust’s hospitals admit the most amount of patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act (MHA) of any mental health trust in the UK.

This adds up to around 1,500 sectioned admissions in a year.

As a proportion of registered population, that figure falls to the third highest in the UK. SLaM runs the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill and Bethlem Royal, among others.

“The causes of SLaM high use of detention is not understood,” states a report presented to board officials containing the stats, which adds that the “high use of the MHA and the underpinning causes requires priority attention.”

Trust officials told the News they believed part of the cause was the high prevalence of psychosis in south London – which it said was the highest in the world.

“We always work to treat patients in the least restrictive way and to help support their recovery earlier,” said a spokeswoman.

“We are working closely with our local communities to help us identify patients that need our support earlier and to prevent them from having to come into hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.

“This is a priority area for us and we are leading ground breaking research into the causes and treatment for Psychosis and this supports how we can reduce the number of patients being detained under the Mental Health Act.”

Also revealed was that only fourteen per cent of people who had been taken by police to a SLaM hospital as a ‘safe place’ while having a mental health crisis in public were then detained and admitted.

The power, under S.136 of the Mental Health Act, allows officers to take you to a place of safety, such as a hospital or police station for up to 24-hours if they think you have a mental illness.

“It was felt that it was a low proportion of the total and raises the question of the rationale for a large proportion of s136,” the committee report found.

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