Up to 5,000 mental health patients may have been sectioned over the last 10 years by doctors who had not been properly approved, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today.
Mr Hunt told the House of Commons: "Our latest best estimate is that 2,000 doctors were not properly approved and that they have participated in the detention of between 4,000 and 5,000 current patients within institutions in both the NHS and independent sectors.
"There is no suggestion that hospitalisation or detention of any patient has been clinically inappropriate, nor that the doctors so approved are anything other than properly qualified to make such recommendations, nor that these doctors might have made incorrect diagnoses or decisions about the treatment patients need.
"All the proper clinical processes were gone through when these patients were detained. We believe no-one is in hospital who shouldn’t be, and no patients have suffered because of this."