A survey was undertaken at the beginning of 1995 of all the patients in the Bexley Hospital. Demographic information was compared with the findings obtained from a previous survey conducted in 1986. Results indicated that during the 9–year interval, changes had occurred in the characteristics of the population. Most markedly, the group was younger than that originally studied, and the total proportion of legally detained patients had increased. If such trends are representative of the country at large, adequate planning must be made to cater for an ever-evolving patient group.
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