The Heath and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics relating to the number of cases of Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 for 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
The report contains data on the use of Guardianship under sections 7 and 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983, as well as information on new, continuing and closed cases at national, regional and local authority levels, including breakdowns by gender, Guardianship type and type of local authority.
The number of new Guardianship cases increased from 280 cases in 2012-13 to 290 cases in 2013-14 (a rise of 4 per cent). This slight increase ends the decline seen over the past 3 years.
The number of people subject to a Guardianship order at the end of the reporting period was 600, a decrease of 4 per cent from 2012-13. This is the ninth consecutive year of decline in continuing cases from 950 continuing cases in 2004-05 to 600 cases in 2013-14, a reduction of 37 per cent. The decline in Guardianship usage may partly be due to the availability of other mental health legislation.
In the North West, the rate of new cases per million population fell from 10.7 for the previous year to 9.0 cases per million. The North East became the region with the highest rate of new cases relative to its population, with an increase from 8.1 to 10.8 cases per million population.
The Eastern region had the fewest new cases with 1.8 cases per million population, the same as last year, and the only region with less than 2 cases per million population.
The North West had the highest number of cases continuing at the end of the 2013/14 year with 160 cases, accounting for over a quarter (26 per cent) of continuing cases in England. The North West also had the highest rate for continuing cases with 22.0 cases per million population.
Despite an increase in new cases, London continued to have the lowest rate of continuing cases, with 2.7 per million population.
In 2013-14, there were 310 Guardianship cases closed. The shortest Guardianship case was 7 days and the longest was 30.3 years. The median duration of a Guardianship case in England was 11.9 months. Cases in the East Midlands had the longest median duration (28.5 months) and cases in London had the shortest (6.0 months).