This paper examined some social and clinical characteristics of a group of formally admitted patients. Factors of a more long-standing nature preceding the admission were particularly emphasized. The study describes a group of 80 consecutive formal admissions from a London borough and compares them with a random sample of 80 informal admissions. The borough has many characteristics associated with an inner city area, e.g. a high incidence of people living alone, foreign born, single and the elderly.
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