Deaths of people treated under the Mental Health Act rose during pandemic

Posted: November 21st 2021


This is a worrying story. People from rural areas in these settings are more isolated and removed from their families and support groups and this situation has clearly ben exacerbated by the pandemic.

The number of deaths of people being treated under the Mental Health Act in England rose during the coronavirus pandemic, estimates suggest.

The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) findings come amid concerns over staff shortages in psychiatric units.

Some 490 people died while detained under the act in the year to March 2021 - 324 of them for non-Covid reasons, the regulator says.

BBC analysis found the average overall figure between 2012 and 2019 was 273.

Former Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned that staff shortages were now compromising patient safety in "every part of the NHS".

He called the figures on deaths in psychiatric detention "very concerning", but added: "It's not just mental health, but every specialty now has shortages of doctors and nurses."

Mr Hunt argued a "radical overhaul" of the training system was needed to ensure there were enough doctors and nurses in the coming decades.