Mental health trust
Region servedUnited Kingdom

A mental health trust provides health and social care services for people with mental health disorders in England.[1]

There are 54 mental health trusts. They are commissioned and funded by clinical commissioning groups.

Patients usually access the services of mental health trusts through their GP (primary care medical doctor) or via a stay in hospital. Most of the services are for people who live in the region, although there may be specialist services for the whole of the UK or services that accept national referrals. Mental Health Trusts may or may not provide inpatient psychiatric hospital services themselves (they may form part of a general hospital run by a hospital trust). The various trusts work together and with local authorities and voluntary organisations to provide care.


Services provided by mental health trusts vary but typically include:

If more specialist hospital treatment is required, Mental Health Trusts will help with rehabilitation back into the community (social inclusion). Trusts may operate community mental health teams, which may include Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment, assertive outreach and early intervention services.

The Mental Health Act 1983, Mental Health Act 2007 and Mental Capacity Act 2005 cover the rights, assessment and treatment of people diagnosed with a mental disorder who are judged as requiring to be detained ("sectioned") or treated against their will. A mental health trust will typically have a Mental Health Act team responsible for ensuring that the Act is administered correctly, including to protect the rights of inpatients, or of service users in the community who may now be under community treatment orders. The Care Quality Commission is the body with overall national responsibility for inspecting and regulating the operation of the mental health act by the regional trusts.


According to the British Medical Association the number of beds for psychiatric patients was reduced by 44% between 2001 and 2017. An average of 726 mental health patients were placed in institutions away from their home area in 2016.[2]

Children of school age are normally treated through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), usually organised by local government area. Young people who become psychiatric in-patients frequently are treated in adult wards due to lack of beds in wards that are suitable for people of their ages. Young people frequently stay in hospital wards when they are fit for discharge because the mental health support facilities they need are not available where they live.[3]

List of MHTs

These are the mental health trusts in the NHS in England in 2017[4] (note that many have NHS Foundation Trust status – a type of trust that has more independence from government):

See also


  1. ^ NHS Choices - NHS authorities and trusts - Mental health trusts
  2. ^ "Mental health beds cut by 44% since 2000, finds BMA". Healthcare leader. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  3. ^ Campbell, Denis (26 July 2017). "Lack of mental health support leaving children stuck in hospital - thinktank". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  4. ^ A-Z List of All NHS Mental Health Trusts in England