Guardianship under the Mental Health Act - proposal to cease data collection & publication

Closed 17 Feb 2021

Opened 6 Jan 2021


Guardianship under the Mental Health Act 1983 is a biennial collection that NHS Digital currently requires Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs) to complete.

The collection relates to those patients aged 16 or over subject to Guardianship under Section 7 or 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

It is a record level collection with minimal information collected and has a very low number of records. For this reason, a decision was taken that the collection would be changed from annual to biennial following the 2015-16 release. 

Since then, numbers of Guardianship orders have continued to decrease year on year with just over 100 new cases in England during 2017-18 ( the last time data was collected).  The majority of CASSRSs do not report any new Guardianship orders. 

In order to protect individuals identity, small numbers in our published data are suppressed according to our policy on statistical disclosure control.  Due to the small number of Guardianship orders, the published data is aggregated at regional and national level to avoid having to suppress all the data.

Data was due to be collected in 2020, covering 2018-19 and 2019-20; however as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a decision was made to defer this collection.

Why we are consulting

As a result of the very low numbers nationally and potentially limited use of the publication, our proposal is to cease the Guardianship publication with immediate effect.  We would like to establish:

  • Who is using this data
  • How people are using the data
  • How users would be affected if the publication was discontinued


  • All Areas


  • Social Care


  • Data Collections