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Mental health

Each year, over a million people receive care from specialist mental health services and there are approximately 160,000 admissions to hospital for mental illness.


Mental health service users, especially when acutely ill, are vulnerable to a number of potential risks. Often these risks are related to their own behaviour or to the behaviour of other patients (such as self-harm, aggression and violence, and sexually disinhibited behaviour), or are a direct result of their mental illness. Others relate to safety risks from their care or treatment.


To help improve the safety of patients in mental health services, the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) uses data from the Reporting and Learning System to build a comprehensive picture of the types of patient safety incidents reported by the NHS, and develops guidance for NHS organisations and healthcare staff.


NRLS resources relating to patient safety in mental health services are listed below.