People Detained Under UK’s Mental Health Act Dying at Three Times Rate of Those Held in Prisons

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From The Independent: “People detained under the¬†Mental Health Act¬†are dying at three times the rate of those held in prisons, figures have revealed.

. . . The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAPDC) analysed deaths in prisons, police custody, immigration detention, and under the MHA between 2017 and 2021.

The report found that while prisons have the highest number of deaths, with an average of 322 deaths per year, patients detained under the MHA have the highest mortality rate when taking into account the time spent in custody and numbers of people in each setting.

An average of 263 people died while detained under the MHA each year for the past five years, with a spike in 2020 when 363 people died.

Meanwhile an average of 18 people died in police custody each year, the report found, as well as one death each year taking place in an immigration removal centre.

. . . The advisory body has also stressed its longstanding concern over the lack of independent scrutiny of deaths under the MHA.

Unlike deaths in prisons, police custody, and immigration detention which are independently investigated prior to an inquest, deaths in secure health settings are often investigated by the same trust responsible for the patient’s care.

. . .¬†The findings come after¬†The Independent¬†revealed separate figures showing¬†15,000 people died while under the care of community mental health services in just one year. The figures, which relate to deaths between March 2022 and March 2023, can be revealed after a concerned insider handed the secret report to this publication.”

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