On a recent visit to Japan, I saw some good quality care of patients with chronic schizophrenia in a rural mental hospital. The Japanese staff were keen to hear about community care alternatives being developed in Britain. However, being a strong protagonist of community care, who has managed the closure of three English mental hospitals, I found myself recommending caution. There are lessons for Japan from the mistakes we have made; and there may be lessons for us in the ways Japan manages delivery of its mental health services.
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