Patients’, carers’ and professionals’ views
Over the last 6 months, Healthwatch Kirklees have been consulting with patients, carers and professionals, to gain a better understanding of their experiences of the use of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 in Kirklees.
These are the key things that we have learnt through completing the work:
- There are discrepancies between the numbers of people recorded as having been held under Section 136 by the police and the Trust
- There is too much variety in the way that people detained under Section 136 are dealt with by the police, with excessive force being reported in some cases. For some individuals with this experience, they feel criminalised
- People with experience of being detained and their carers are frustrated by failures in the crisis support system (both current and historic) that mean that they, or their relative/friend, are not helped to address their mental health issues at an early stage, and then end up held under Section 136
- Staff from all organisations involved feel that the way Section 136 is currently used overstretches their resources
- Although protocols are in place, they are not easily accessed, and this leads to confusion as to who takes responsibility for what and variation in the way that Section 136 is used. In particular, this has been an issue with transportation