“Police custody is not an appropriate place for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis”

25 October 2012

"We are extremely concerned by these figures showing one in three place of safety orders is to police custody rather than a hospital, despite the fact that police custody is meant to be used as a place of safety only in exceptional circumstances.

Police stations can be crowded and chaotic. They are not a suitable place for someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. The Government must hold the NHS to account for ensuring that appropriate places of safety are provided across the country for people of all ages."

Sean Duggan, Centre for Mental Health chief executive, said today, commenting on the release of the 2012 statistics monitoring uses of the Mental Health Act. The survey finds that the number of people subject to detention under the Mental Health Act has risen by six per cent. The figures also show that the number of Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) issued has increased by ten per cent from 2011. The CTO is the order that allows for people to be recalled if they do not comply with their treatment or engage with community mental health services following their discharge from compulsory treatment in hospital.

"CTOs are designed for a small number of people with specific needs. They should not be used as a routine form of hospital discharge and should only be used for as long as the power of recall is necessary for any patient. People with a mental health condition must be given the same rights and choices in managing their care as those with a physical health condition."

The full report can be found here.