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Decrease in mental health patients who visit hospital


23 October 2015

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Fewer people in contact with mental health or learning disability services spent time in hospital this year, compared to last year, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) data reveals.

During 2014/15 (up to March 2015) 5.7% (103,840) of people in contact with mental health and learning disability services spent time in hospital, a decrease from 6% (105,270 people) the previous year.

Fewer people in contact with mental health or learning disability services spent time in hospital this year, compared to last year, Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) data reveals.

During 2014/15 (up to March 2015) 5.7% (103,840) of people in contact with mental health and learning disability services spent time in hospital, a decrease from 6% (105,270 people) the previous year.

Moreover, this figure more than doubled when looking specifically at the black or black british population group, as 12.7% of patients from these ethnic groups who were in contact with mental health and learning disability services spent at least one night in hospital in the year.

“This is higher than the figure for any of the other ethnic groups and more than double the figure for the white ethnic group,” the report reads.

In terms of access, NHS Bury clinical commissioning group (CCG) had the highest standardised access rate to mental health and learning disability services at 9,350 people per 100,000 of the population, and NHS South Gloucestershire CCG had the lowest at 2,080.

People from the black or black british ethnic group were more likely than other ethnic groups to be detained, with 56.9 detentions per 100 inpatients, compared to 37.5 detentions per 100 people who identified as being in the white ethnic group (the lowest number of all the ethnic groups).

In response, Geoff Heyes, policy and campaigns manager for the mental health charity Mind, said: “We know that people from black groups are often poorly supported by mental health care services, meaning they are less likely to seek early support for a mental health problem. As the latest HSCIC data shows, the effect of this is that they are much more likely to be detained and the police more likely to be involved when they are unwell.

“This may be explained by a number of factors, including stigma, cultural barriers, and discrimination. This may also be because mainstream mental health services often fail to understand or provide services that are accessible to non-white British communities and meet their particular cultural and other needs. We urgently need to see services able to provide care that is culturally appropriate and able to engage people from marginalised groups early so that they are not left to develop more serious and difficult to treat mental health problems,” he added.

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