Trends in special (high-security) hospitals

Martin Butwell, Elizabeth Jamieson, Morven Leese, Pamela Taylor
2000 British Journal of Psychiatry  
It has been argued that many patients in special hospital beds do not need to be there. In the 1990s there were initiatives to discharge women and people with learning difficulties. Aims To test for trends in special hospital discharges and to examine annual resident cohorts. Method This study was from case registers and hospital records. The main measures were numbers and annual rates for referrals and beds offered; the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) classification of mental disorder; adjusted
more » ... pulation rates by region; admission episodes; legal category of detention; admission source and type of offence. Results The median annual number of residents was 1859 (range 1697–1910), with an 8% fall for the period. This particularly affected people in mental impairment categories. Numbers were sustained in the male mental illness groups. Discharges, mainly to other institutions, increased. There was no overall change over the 10 years in length of stay for treatment, but successive admission cohorts from 1986 did show some reduction, even with solely remand order cases excluded. Conclusions Service planners need a longitudinal perspective on service use. Trends over 10 years to both fewer admissions and more discharges have reduced the special hospital population, but despite new treatments for schizophrenia, men under mental illness classification, as well as transfer from other secure settings, have gone against this trend.
doi:10.1192/bjp.176.3.260 pmid:10755074 fatcat:z6zc5tjsxnbljgtcdle64st4qq