A safer place to be: findings from our survey of health-based places of safety for people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission
Date of publication
1 October 2014
Mental health services, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

Download (775KB )

In January and February 2014 the Care Quality Commission carried out a survey of NHS mental health trusts and social enterprise providers of health-based places of safety in England. The purpose of this survey was to examine the provision and use of health-based places of safety for people detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act (the power that police officers have to detain people, believed to have a mental disorder, in a public place and to take them to a place of safety for assessment), especially as a means of understanding the availability and accessibility of the places of safety. Overall results showed that some places of safety are operating effectively, with innovative examples of positive practice and organisational developments. However, there was also evidence that recommended national standards are not being fully met in a range of areas. There are four key findings that need to be urgently addressed:

  1. Too many places of safety are turning people away or requiring people to wait for long periods with the police, because they are already full or because there are staffing problems.
  2. Too many providers operate policies that exclude young people, people who are intoxicated, and people with disturbed behaviour from all of their places of safety.
  3. Too many commissioners are not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities for maintaining an oversight of the section 136 pathway.
  4. Too many providers are not appropriately monitoring their own service provision. This makes it difficult for those providers and their commissioners to evaluate if provision is meeting the needs of people in their local area.

Related to Care Quality Commission

Decision time: will the voluntary sector embrace the age of opportunity?

The culmination of 18 months of research and events, this report highlights that the voluntary sector is currently not ready for our ageing society and needs to adapt to grasp the opportunities this

New, emerging and changing job roles: adult social care in extra care housing

Historically, social care and housing have developed in relative silos, both as professions and in their development pathways. However, more recently there has been a shift in culture of enabling independence

Research on abuse and violence against the social care workforce: focus on personal assistants: report

After reviewing the literature, relevant legislation and guidance, an on-line survey of local authority workforce leads, members of the Personal Assistants (PA) Framework Steering Group, PA agencies

Supporting social care employers to prevent and manage abuse and violence toward staff: report

This report explores to what extent the social care workforce is at risk of different levels of abuse or violence across the groups of people who receive care and support services, and whether the type

More items related to this publisher