The Department of Health today published statistics on inpatients and compulsory admissions in mental health and learning disability hospitals in Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2023.
Mental Illness and Learning Disability Census
- On 17 February 2023, 627 patients were being treated as inpatients in mental health hospitals in Northern Ireland. Of these 627 patients, more than three quarters (76.9%, 482) had been resident in hospital for six months or less, whilst four (0.6%) patients had been resident for more than 10 years. (Table 1.2).
- Between 2019 and 2023, the number of patients being treated as inpatients in mental health hospitals increased by 12 (2.0%), from 615 to 627 (Table 1.1).
- More than three fifths (63.3%, 397) of the 627 occupied beds in mental health hospitals on 17 February 2023 were ‘Acute’ beds (Table 1.3).
- Over the last five years, the number of compulsory admissions to mental health hospitals under the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986 decreased by 43 (3.9%), from 1,106 in 2018/19 to1,063 in 2022/23 (Table 1.4).
- During 2022/23, the highest number of compulsory admissions was recorded in the 18 to 44 years age group (536, 50.4%) (Table 1.5).
Mental Illness and Learning Disability Census
- Between 2019 and 2023, the number of patients being treated as inpatients in learning disability hospitals decreased by 41 (42.7%), from 96 to 55 (Table 2.1).
- On 17 February 2023, 55 patients were being treated as inpatients in learning disability hospitals in Northern Ireland. Of these 55 patients, almost one in five (18.2%, 10) had been resident in hospital for six months or less, whilst 13 (23.6%) had been resident for more than 10 years (Table 2.2).
- More than a quarter (27.3%, 15) of the 55 occupied beds in learning disability hospitals were ‘Assessment and Treatment’ beds at 17 February 2023 (Table 2.3).
- Between 2018/19 and 2022/23, the number of compulsory admissions to learning disability hospitals under the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986 decreased by 20 (57.1%), from 35 to 15 (Table 2.4).
- Two fifths of compulsory admissions to learning disability hospitals in 2022/23 involved patients under eighteen years old (40.0%, 6) (Table 2.5). The information release is published on the Departmental website at:
Notes to editors:
1. The information detailed in this publication is collected from the following statistical returns provided by HSC Trusts and Hospitals:
- KH15 & KH15b – Compulsory Admissions under the Mental Health (NI) Order 1986;
- KH16 – Admissions to Mental Health / Learning Disability Hospitals;
- KH17 – Number of Patients Receiving Electro-Convulsive Therapy; and,
- MILD Census – Inpatients resident in Mental Health / Learning Disability Hospitals on 17 February each year.
2. Historically this statistical information, including detailed commentary, was published as the ‘Hospital Statistics: Mental Health and Learning Disability’ publication. However, following a National Statistics Consultation in October 2015, it was agreed to discontinue this publication and replace it with a set of downloadable EXCEL data tables (no commentary).
3. The downloadable EXCEL tables present information on (i) compulsory admissions under the 1986 Mental Health (NI) Order and (ii) a census of mental illness and learning disability inpatients resident in hospital on 17 February.
4. Following the ‘Review of Mental Health Statistics in Northern Ireland’ by the Office for Statistics Regulation in 2021 (link below), Information & Analysis Directorate (IAD) developed an interactive Power BI dashboard to be published alongside the Mental Health & Learning Disability EXCEL tables, which provides a much more comprehensive and user friendly statistical publication of mental health and learning disability inpatient information.
5. Information on inpatient, day case and consultant-led outpatient activity for the mental health and learning disability specialties, previously detailed in the ‘Hospital Statistics: Mental Health and Learning Disability’ publication, has already been published for 2022/23 in:
Hospital Statistics: Inpatient and Day Case Activity Statistics (2022/23)
Hospital Statistics: Outpatient Activity Statistics (2022/23)
6. All information has been validated with Health & Social Care Trusts, and incorporates all returns and amendments received up to 27 August 2023.
7. Further information on Mental Health & Learning Disability Statistics is available from:
Hospital Information Branch
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
8. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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10. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.