Mental Health Data and Statistics - FAO Mental Health Law Unit

Autism Rights made this Freedom of Information request to Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates,
FAO Mental Health Law Unit
Re.: Mental Health Data and Statistics
There is now no source for the data produced in the Mental Welfare Commission's Learning Disability Census - according to the MWC themselves. Please can you tell me if it is the intention of the Scottish Government to collate and publish the information this census provided or indeed to enhance this information in any way in the future - and, if so, when?

There is still no publication of numbers, let alone additional information, of the deaths of people who are being compulsorily treated under the terms of the MHA. Does the Scottish Government intend at any point in the future to publish annual deaths and suicide statistics specific to those receiving forced treatment under the terms of the MHA? If not, how is the Scottish Government going to assess a) the efficacy or otherwise of treatment and b) compliance with human rights?

There is still no collation of data, statistics or any other information on `adverse events`, such as assaults, in the mental health system at national level, and information from health boards is unpublished and inadequate at health board level, as the FOIs below make very clear. Does the Scottish Government intend at any point in the future to collate and publish such information at a national level, so that it is possible for the government and those interested in the human rights of vulnerable people to assess the Scottish mental health system's compliance with human rights and the efficacy or otherwise of current treatment methodologies?

As some of this FOI was submitted to the Mental Health Law Unit one year ago, and I have not even received an acknowledgement of the receipt of that request, I would be obliged if you could deal with this request at your earliest possible convenience.

You may know that the Scottish Government agreed to implement collation and publication of data and statistics, as I've described above, shortly after the passing of the 2015 Mental Health Act, to which I submitted 4 Amendments, one of which was in relation to data and statistics. These 2 articles make reference to my Amendments to the Act:-

Yours sincerely,
Fiona Sinclair
Autism Rights

FOIs and press coverage re. assaults and `adverse events` in the mental health system:-
- 21st July
Scots mental health units rack up one injury every hour as figures reveal toll of assaults, burns and falls
Helen McArdle @HMcardleHT Health Correspondent
Former patients at the Carseview Centre in Dundee said patients were often violently restrained

MENTAL health units in Scotland are racking up an injury every hour among patients, staff and visitors, figures reveal.

Over the past three years, psychiatric facilities recorded an average of 24 incidents a day. These ranged from assaults and accidents such as falls and trips, to substance abuse and issues with absconding and patient transport.

Instances involving burns, hazardous liquids and infection control also occurred.

Read more: Edinburgh psychiatrist 'must answer' claim she lied in case against Ministry of Justice

The number of incidents in 2017/18 - 8519 in total - were the lowest in the three-year period. In 2015/16 there were 8721 injuries and in 2016/17 there were 9101.

Scotland’s largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, noted the most incidents last year (3232) followed by NHS Lothian (1679) and NHS Grampian (1335).

The figures were obtained under freedom of information by the Scottish Conservatives.

It comes after an investigation by BBC Scotland reported that patients at the Carseview Centre in Dundee had been violently and repeatedly pinned to the floor over the past five years.

NHS Tayside has already commissioned an independent inquiry into its mental health services.

Scottish Conservative mental health spokeswoman Annie Wells said the statistics should help renew focus on improving mental health care in Scotland to create a better environment for vulnerable patients and healthcare workers.

She said: “Everyone accepts that mental health wards can be extremely challenging both for patients and staff and, as such, incidents involving injury are bound to occur.

“But at the same time, more clearly needs to be done to reduce the thousands which occur each year."

Read more: Family of suicide victim say they have 'no faith' in Tayside mental health inquiry

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said: “It is welcome that the number of injuries has fallen and we are absolutely clear that everyone should be able to feel safe whilst receiving treatment or working in our mental health services.

"As we work to further improve our mental health services the experience of patients, their families and staff are key to reshaping treatment and support.”
- PROSECUTORS in Scotland "do not have a clue how to deal with suspicious deaths in healthcare", campaigners have warned after the Crown Office ruled out investigations into more than 40 avoidable patient deaths and injuries in Ayrshire.

They likened the decision to the failure to properly probe Gosport Memorial Hospital where 456 elderly patients died after being prescribed dangerous doses of painkiller, and warned that serial killing GP Harold Shipman "would be safe from detection here".

Dear Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates,

Could you please respond to my FOI request for Mental Health Data and Statistics, as this is now well overdue a response. If there is a problem with answering the questions I have asked, please could you at least acknowledge this request and explain what problems you are having?

Yours faithfully,

Autism Rights

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

Good morning

Can you please let us know your refrence number and name to follow up the request.

Yours sincerely
Scottish Government
Central Enquiry Unit
Tel: 0300 244 4000
      0131 556 8400

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Dear Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates,
As you have failed even to acknowledge my request until now, I have no reference number - nor do I need one. Please comply with the law and answer my FOI request promptly - you have exceeded the legal time limit set.

Yours faithfully,

Autism Rights

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

1 Attachment

Ms Sinclair,


I have been passed your correspondence below.  I apologise for the delay
in processing of your request by the Scottish Government. Our team has now
been passed your email and we will take it forward from here.


Your [1]email is not a request for information held by the Scottish
Government and therefore we are responding to you outwith the terms of the
Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  Instead, your email is a
request for us to update you with a statement of our intention in respect
of the topics you have raised.  I hope to be able to assist with that
request as follows.


Firstly, you note that you submitted an FOI to the Mental Health Law Unit
one year ago and did not receive an acknowledgement. Our records show that
we received a request from you on 15 September 2017 and responded to you
on 17 October 2017.  If you sent another FOI request in addition to this
then I am afraid that we have never received this.  Please feel free to
resend it to this address and we will respond.


Secondly, you note that the Scottish Government agreed to implement the
collation and publication of data and statistics shortly after the passing
of the 2015 Mental Health Act.  By this, I assume you mean section 36 of
the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, which amended section 19 of the
Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to provide that the
Scottish Ministers may set out in regulations what statistical or other
information the Mental Welfare Commission must provide them with.  These
regulations have not yet been drafted but they will be drafted and brought
into force as part of ongoing commencement arrangements following the
passing of the 2015 Act.  Since the passing of the 2015 Act, officials
have been reviewing how the new provisions of that Act are working and
will be using this to inform the regulations to be made under section 19
of the 2003 Act.  We note the list of information that you think should be
published and will take this into account when coming to a decision on
what types of statistical or other information to prescribe.


Kind regards,

Chris Lindores


Chris Lindores | Policy Officer | Law and Protection of Rights Team |
Adult Mental Health, Wellbeing and Protection of Rights Division |
Scottish Government

St Andrew’s House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG | [2]@lawprt




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