Hospital visiting teams, review bodies, and inquiries have become a fact of life in psychiatric settings in the Health Service. In the last 20 years or so there has been an intensification of efforts aimed at examining and evaluating psychiatric services. There can be no doubt that the purpose of the visits—to monitor and improve standards of care and to facilitate changes in service delivery—is a worthy and important one. Clearly, too, a great deal of expertise and energy goes into the visits. Descriptions of the range of visits and the arrangements involved, as reflected in the HAS Annual Report (1985–1986), are impressive.
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