The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the introduction of new mental health legislation in October 2005 on general adult psychiatry admissions. Patients were included in the study if they were admitted to Murray Royal Hospital, Perth from December 2004 to July 2005 and December 2005 to July 2006.
Fewer patients were detained but they were more likely to progress to longer-term detentions. Overall detained patients remained in hospital for shorter periods.
The change in de novo detention procedures reduced the number of de novo detentions. The new power to enforce medication in the community may have contributed to the reduced length of detention in hospital.
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