MENTAL health chiefs have apologised after their systems could not detect the number of patients who have been prescribed psychiatric drugs.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provided figures which suggested the proportion of patients receiving psychiatric medication had trebled since 2009.

But when the Lancashire Telegraph asked the trust to explain the increase, a spokesman said there had been a mistake.

She added: “We are unable to provide you with the data because we do not hold it.

“Our current electronic system does not facilitate the extraction of the data to respond to the question. Please accept our apologies.

“The data had been provided in good faith in an attempt to answer your question when actually the response should have been that the data is not currently recorded in such a way to do so.

“We are in the process of reviewing our systems to ensure that prescribing data is recorded electronically within our patient system.”