The move towards community care essentially aims at the provision of a comprehensive psychiatric service in each District with facilities for the chronically disabled based outside the hospital for the greater part. Parallel with this move runs the aim to close all large mental hospitals. The present debate centres around the extent to which we can move towards a system of comprehensive District psychiatric services alone at this stage in time and the question of whether it is desirable to abandon totally the large psychiatric hospital style of care. The brief of this paper is to summarize the reasons for concern about a wholesale move towards District-based services from the large mental hospital from the psychiatrists' view-point. Unfortunately, much of the debate is based on speculation because of the experimental nature of this move and the fact that objective research is lacking on any changes already made in this country.
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