Norman Lamb Norman Lamb

Preventing deaths in detention of adults with mental health conditions

In 2015, the Commission published a report of our inquiry into non-natural deaths of adults with mental health conditions in prisons, police custody and psychiatric hospitals in the years 2010-13. Our analysis of the evidence showed that basic errors were being repeatedly made, and we developed a series of recommendations for relevant agencies in order to improve the situation. This progress review assesses whether steps have been taken to implement these recommendations and prevent further avoidable deaths.

Case studies

Photo courtesy of BSIP, Laurent/Science Photo Library

Quote on photo: "Failure to make progress in reducing the number of avoidable deaths (in detention) is a national stain that we should no longer tolerate in modern civilised society" Professor Swaran Singh EHRC Commissioner

a prisoner in a cell

Interview with Norman Lamb

Norman Lamb MP, Ex Minister of State for Care and Support and Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Health, speaks about the fact that too many people with mental health conditions are dying in detention.

Help and support

INQUEST provide free advice to people bereaved by a death in custody and detention. 

IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) oversee the police complaints system in England and Wales.

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) carry out independent investigations into deaths and complaints in custody. 

If you would like further information about our Inquiry please email us at