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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Instances of absconding from Mental Health Care (FOI)

Instances of absconding from Mental Health Care (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 09 September 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Please confirm how many individuals detained under the mental health law left St. Saviour’s mental health facilities without permission since 2018, broken down by year.

-If possible, please also provide a breakdown by facility (i.e. Orchard House/Clinique Pinel) and what article of the mental health law these individuals were detained under.
- How many hours of missing person(s) searches did this result in?
- What was the overall cost of these searches?


All incidents of absconding are recorded on DATIX (the electronic data administration system used in Health and Community Services) however these include delayed return from authorised leave and delayed return from ground leave. 

Due to the very low numbers involved, no further breakdown will be provided in relation to article or location for each year as it could lead to the identification of individuals. Any further breakdown of information is exempt from release under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.

A review of recorded absconding for people subject to detention under an article of the Mental Health (Jersey) Law 2016 gives the following data: 

Total number of recorded absconding incidents whilst under Article​
2018 (Jan to Dec)​13​
2019 (Jan to Dec)​12​
2020 (Jan to July)​7​
Grand Total​32​

There are recorded incidents of absconding for Cedar ward, Maple ward and Orchard house. 27 of these incidents between January 2018 and July 2020 were associated with Orchard house. Voluntary patients are not included in this dataset.

Between January 2018 and July 2020 the following number of incidents of absconding, whilst under article, are recorded: 

• Article 21 (Assessment): 11
• Article 22 (Treatment): 21

States of Jersey Police Data does not distinguish whether an individual is under an Article of the Mental Health (Jersey) Law 2016. Costing and time spent is not available. 

Article applied

Article 25      Personal information

(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2)     Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a)     it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b)     its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.
(3)     In determining for the purposes of this Article whether the lawfulness principle in Article 8(1)(a) of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 would be contravened by the disclosure of information, paragraph 5(1) of Schedule 2 to that Law (legitimate interests) is to be read as if sub-paragraph (b) (which disapplies the provision where the controller is a public authority) were omitted.

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