FEWER people than expected have been detained in the 'place of safety' unit at Bootham Hospital for people suffering a breakdown in mental health.

Between February and April, 32 people have been detained at the suite - a report to the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Partnership Board outlines.

About a third of these were admitted to hospital. The average length of time in the suite has been about 2.5 hours.

The place of safety was opened at Bootham Hospital to care for people with mental health issues who are taken off the streets by police, rather than have them placed in cells.

Until recently North Yorkshire had been the only county in the country without a designated place of safety unit, but after significant pressure, approval has been given for the £400,000-a-year unit to be opened at Bootham Park Hospital and another unit has been opened in Scarborough.