MORE people than ever before are being detained under the mental health act by Glasgow's health board, according to a new report.

The Mental Welfare Commission has raised concerns about the increasing use of compulsory treatment orders and detentions under the mental health act.

Of all 14 health boards in the country, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has the highest rate of short term detention orders, as well as rate of compulsory treatment orders.

It also has the second highest rate of emergency detention certificates (EDCs) in Scotland.

Over the last decade, Glasgow's rate of emergency detentions has risen by 65 per cent, from 43.4 per 100,000 people to 71.8.

An EDC is used for up to 72 hours, when someone is at risk of harming themselves or others and needs urgent medical attention.

They are supposed to be issued with the consent of a mental health officer, who provides a second opinion on the decision.

However in Glasgow. just 33 per cent of all certificates involved the opinion of a mental health officer - well below the national average of 54 per cent.

Dr Gary Morrison, Executive Director (Medical) at the Mental Welfare Commission, said the figures, particularly those around the sue of mental health officers, were "concerning".

He said: "We are once again concerned at the overall upwards trends, particularly in the use of emergency detention, which has risen steeply.

"It was designed to be used only in times of crisis, and it affords fewer safeguards for the individual...

“While we don’t know the causes for the rising figures, they could indicate a general increased pressure on mental health services, and possibly increased distress amongst patients as more people are being given compulsory, rather than voluntary, treatment."

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "These figures provide important data about the use of mental health services, and we will work closely with the MWC and other partners to understand and respond appropriately to this new information.

"Clinical practice in the use of the Mental Health Act has not changed, and we think it most likely that the increase in detentions represents an increase in the number of people requiring protection from a risk of harm to themselves or others.

We recognise from the report there is a difference in detention figures between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the other Scottish Health Boards, and we have an ongoing dialogue with the Commission on the reasons for this.

"NHSGGC remains committed to providing timely and effective mental health care for all those who need it.

"We seek to provide that care on a voluntary basis whenever possible, and are confident that patients in NHSGGC are not detained unnecessarily.