2018 Mental Health Project – Results published

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The 2018 Mental Health Inpatient and Community benchmarking project was the largest ever, with 100% of English Mental Health Trusts, 100% of Welsh University Health Boards and representation from Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Independent Sector.

Data from 2017/18 shows a broad stabilisation in capacity for Adult services although bed reductions continue to take place in Older People’s care. The overall level of change reported since 2011/12 is a 17% reduction in adult acute beds and a 40% reduction in older adult beds.  The reduction in bed numbers has contributed to an overall decline in admission rates with 15% fewer adult acute admissions this year than in 2011/12.

Each year our benchmarking results reaffirm the position that most service users receive their care in the community setting. In 2017/18 around 700,000 adults were supported by specialist community mental health teams across the UK.  

Waiting times for community-based care are again similar to those delivered for NHS physical healthcare. Around 90% of service users requiring community care receive treatment within 18 weeks of referral.

The mental health workforce appears generally static in 2017/18 data with providers relying on high levels of bank and agency staff in the inpatient environment.  Variations are evident in workforce size and shape which link closely to wider trends in the UK labour market.

Analysis of service quality metrics reveals a gradually improving position across most providers. Data from the Friends and Family test in England confirms that 88% of service users say they would recommend services to their friends and family.  Analysis of service quality metrics reveals a commitment to transparency in reporting of adverse incidents. Further reductions in the use of prone restraint are particularly pleasing. 

For further information on this project, please contact Zoë Morris, Programme Manager, zoe.morris@nhs.net.