For the past twenty years or more it has been suggested that all our large psychiatric hospitals should be closed and psychiatry transferred to the community. This idea has generated a large amount of discussion, innumerable papers and much anxiety. More recently it has become the stated objective of the Department of Health, and now every region in the country is making concrete plans to transfer psychiatry from the mental hospital to facilities in the community with the definite objective of closing down psychiatric hospitals within a measurable time. Naturally this has generated even more discussion—and even more anxiety.
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