It was in 1961 at the Annual Conference of MIND that Enoch Powell first announced that the traditional mental hospitals were to be run down. Since then it has been government policy to emphasise the value of a transfer of care from hospital to the community. Concern was soon being widely expressed at the growing gap between statements of proposed government policy and their realisation. It has long been the intention to close Knowle Hospital, which originally served the city of Southampton, and over the last ten years there has been a gradual transfer of some of the services away from the main hospital site. A major problem in successfully implementing the closure of any mental hospital is the appropriate relocation of the long-stay population. The problems this involves have been much debated recently.
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