The data collected records the numbers of mental health and learning disability secure unit beds in national health service units, not the numbers of psychiatric secure unit beds.
In 2005-06 (the latest period for which figures are available), there was an average daily number of 2,807 mental illness secure unit beds, and 526 learning disability secure unit beds in NHS units in England.
The source for these figures is the Department of Health Dataset KH03 and the definitions for the purposes of this collection are as follows.
These figures do not represent the full level of secure services available to the NHS. Low secure mental health services are not consistently defined and may well fall outside the following definitions. This means that the aforementioned figures mainly show the numbers in high and medium secure mental health services in NHS units. These figures also only show NHS beds and not those commissioned by the NHS and provided by independent sector providers.
The definitions of mental health and Learning Disability Secure Unit Beds, for the purposes of the KH03 annual beds collection, are:
Mental illness - other ages, secure unit
an age group intended of National Code 8 Any age, a broad patient group code of National Code 5 ‘Patients with mental illness’ and a clinical care intensity of National Code 51 ‘for intensive care: specially designated ward for patients needing containment and more intensive management This is not to be confused with intensive nursing where a patient may require one to one nursing while on a standard ward’.
Learning disabilities—Other ages, Secure unit
an age group intended of National Code 8 ‘Any age’, a Broad Patient Group Code of National Code 6 ‘Patients with learning difficulties’ and a clinical care intensity of National Code 61 ‘designated or interim secure unit’.