In 1793 Pinel started the move towards modern psychiatry by removing the chains from patients at the Bicetre Psychiatric Asylum. In 1986 the Mental Health Commission through their draft Code of Practice (COP) are metaphorically attempting to place those chains upon the professionals whose job it is to treat psychiatric disorder. Psychiatry will not benefit by having either the patients or the carers chained. I feel that if the COP in its current form is accepted, then it is likely in the long-term to lead to a deterioration of services for the mentally ill and we should ensure through the Royal College that we are not forced into accepting proposals from people who are in a worse position than ourselves to determine what is best for our patients.
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