Key facts and trends in UK mental health: new fact sheet from the NHS Confederation

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The NHS Confederation Mental Health Network have updated their publication on key facts and trends in mental health. The 8-page PDF contains information about the prevalence of mental disorders, employment and housing, stigma and discrimination, current NHS spending, service activity, quality, safety and user experience.

Here are some of the headlines:

  • The largest increase in rate of common mental disorders between 1993 and 2007 was observed in women aged 45–64, among whom the rate rose by about a fifth
  • Suicide among the general population of England has continued a downward trend, despite a brief increase in 2008. Each age group has seen a fall in suicide rates
  • 22–44 per cent of adult psychiatric inpatients in England also have a substance misuse problem and staff working in mental health services are not adequately trained to deal with substance misuse
  • Research shows that a total of 2.3 million people with a mental health condition are on benefits or out of work
  • Only 7.9 per cent of adults in England with mental health conditions in contact with secondary mental health services were known to be in paid employment at the time of their last review
  • An estimated 69 per cent of rough sleepers suffer from both mental ill health and a substance misuse problem
  • The cost of dementia to the UK economy currently stands at £20 billion per annum, and is projected to rise to £27 billion per annum by 2018
  • The percentage of people agreeing that “mental illness is an illness like any other” increased from 71 per cent in 1994 to 77 per cent in 2011
  • For the first time since 2004/05, there has been a slight increase in the number of people who have received inpatient NHS mental healthcare in England. This number rose to 107,765 in 2009/10, a 5.1 per cent increase on the previous year
  • Over-occupancy continues to be a problem for those detained under the Mental Health Act. During 2009/10, 29 per cent of acute wards visited had occupancy rates of over 100 per cent

The authors concluded:

The overall picture is a mixed one. For example, it is encouraging to see patients spending less time in hospitals; pointing perhaps towards the increasing use of community-based treatments. However, it is concerning that people on a Care Programme Approach do not feel they are getting the support they need in terms of employment, housing and financial advice.

Against the backdrop of the reforms to the NHS and the efficiency savings required, it is clear that mental health services face a serious test in the coming months and years.

Key facts and trends in mental health: updated figures and statistics (PDF). NHS Confederation, Mental Health Network, Sept 2011.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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