Hospital services: mental health service users have around double the attendance rate of general population

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Four in 10 service users visited A&E at least once in 2011/12 compared to two in 10 of the general population, according to new analysis by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC)

Initial figures also show that just fewer than four in 10 service users were admitted to hospital at least once, while nearly seven in 10 had at least one outpatient appointment.

Today’s report presents the first findings from new analysis made possible by HSCIC linking together two of its health datasets (Hospital Episode Statistics and the Mental Health Minimum Dataset).

It shows that, considering the 1.534 million service users – defined as people who accessed specialist mental health services – in 2011/12 in England:

41.2 per cent (632,000)3 visited A&E at least once, compared to 19.7 per cent (7.9 million) of the general population. 37.4 per cent (573,000) were admitted to hospital at least once, compared to16.5 per cent (6.6 million) of the general population. 67.1 per cent (1 million) had at least one outpatient appointment, compared to 38.4 per cent (15.4 million) of the general population. A further report, scheduled for August, will build on today’s initial findings to present a more detailed picture about hospital attendances by mental health service users.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said: “Today’s report, which shows a large difference in the use of hospital departments by mental health service users compared to the general population, illustrates the power of data linkage.

“By providing this type of information, which was never before available, we can help health professionals see what is happening across health and social care and begin to explore what lies behind these facts and figures. This in turn will support improved treatments and outcomes and drive better care for patients and the public.”

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