Mental Health: Travellers:Written question - HL9634

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health: Travellers
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data, if any, they collect in relation to the diagnosed mental health status, and self-harm and suicide rates among self-identifying Gypsies and Travellers within the secure estate; and how such recorded data compares with that of other ethnic groups whose ethnicity is recorded on NOMIS or is otherwise monitored.
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 25 July 2018

Data on people detained in the secure estate, including secure mental health hospitals, prisons and immigration removal centres, are collected in different ways across Government. Across the secure estate, data on ethnicity is collected through self-reporting which impacts the ability to provide ethnic breakdowns with confidence.

The Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS) collects data on people in contact with National Health Service funded secondary mental health, autism and learning disability services, including secure mental health hospitals. The MHSDS uses ethnicity codes which align with the 2011 Census and NOMIS ethnic groups and includes a category for ‘White (Gypsy or Irish Traveller)’. It does not collect data on suicide and self-harm rates of people identifying as gypsies or travellers.

Prison recording systems such as the Prison National Offender Information System (p-NOMIS) do not hold clinical data, although individual prisoners’ records may refer to aspects of it where relevant. An example is that a vulnerable prisoner being supported through the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) process may have mental health needs that are noted in their ACCT documents, so that non-clinical staff are aware of them and will respond appropriately.

p-NOMIS records incidents of self-harm and all deaths of prisoners, including suicide. For ethnic monitoring it uses the same classifications as the 2011 census. The specific option for Gypsies or Travellers is ‘White (Gypsy or Irish Traveller)’. Anyone not identifying themselves as such may use another, such as ‘White (other)’ or ‘Other’. It is not possible to calculate rates of self-harm or suicide by ethnicity with confidence.

Data on people detained in immigration removal centres is recorded by nationality. Data is not routinely recorded on people who may identify as gypsy or traveller. The Office for National Statistics, which is the official source of suicide data for the United Kingdom, does not collect data on suicide registrations by ethnicity.

Share this page