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Community in-patient units and halfway hospitals

  • Anthony Boardman and Richard Hodgson

Extract

There is a current gap in the nomenclature of psychiatric in-patient services. There are few descriptions of types of in-patient care and over recent years the literature has abounded with debates concerning alternatives. However, it may be argued that these debates have been based on the creation of the ‘straw man’ of the psychiatric admission, which is only fit for knocking down. Although a post-war consensus has emerged concerning the need to abandon the Victorian asylums, this has often been misrepresented as the need to avoid in-patient admission. The poorly articulated and emotional concept of community care and its lack of clear and consistent definition in public policy and key legislation have contributed to this (Bulmer, 1987). Recent changes in our view of community care have led to a refining of the concept and a shift from its comforting appellations (Titmus, 1968) to a pragmatic approach that matches it to empirical experiences and new resources. This approach sees psychiatric services for adults as being based locally and provided by a spectrum of services – in-patient, residential and ambulatory (Department of Health, 1996) – based on best available evidence. This article has been written with these issues in mind. We will address the current problems of in-patient care and the current literature on alternatives and supplements to traditional in-patient units.

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References

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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
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Community in-patient units and halfway hospitals

  • Anthony Boardman and Richard Hodgson
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