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Patients in Broadmoor Hospital from the South Western region: an audit of transfer procedures

  • Jeanette Smith (a1), Martin Donovan (a1) and Harvey Gordon (a2)
Extract

Broadmoor Hospital is one of the three special hospitals covering England and Wales. It provides approximately 500 beds for mentally disordered patients who on account of their dangerous, violent or criminal propensities constitute a grave and immediate danger to the public, requiring treatment in conditions of special security (Section 4, National Health Service Act, 1977). It is generally recognised, however, that there are patients in special hospitals no longer requiring treatment in conditions of maximum security. These patients could probably be more appropriately cared for elsewhere if the facilities existed in general psychiatric hospitals or the community. However, special hospital consultants frequently encounter significant obstacles when attempting to transfer patients to local hospitals. Dell (1980) highlighted this problem, suggesting that 16% of special hospital patients were waiting to leave, following the agreement of the DHSS and the Home Office to their transfer. This delay appeared to be due to hospitals not wanting to accept patients who might prove to be difficult or dangerous. At the time of this current study (March 1990) these difficulties in transferring patients were particularly relevant as two of the special hospitals, Broadmoor and Ashworth (Park Lane and Moss Side) were full for male patients and therefore closed to male admissions, despite a continuing demand for beds.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Dell, S. (1980) Transfer of special hospital patients into National Health Service hospitals. In Abnormal Offenders, Delinquency and the Criminal Justice System (eds Gunn, J. & Farrington, D. P.), pp. 325338. Chichester: John Wiley.
Gostin, L. (1986) Institutions Observed. London: King's Fund Centre.
Hamilton, J. R. (1985) Developments in forensic psychiatry services in the National Health Service. In Psychiatry, Human Rights and the Law (eds Roth, M. & Bluglass, R.), pp. 123137. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hamilton, J. R. (1990) Special hospitals and the state hospital. In Principles and Practice of Forensic Psychiatry (eds Bluglass, R. & Bowden, P.), pp. 13631373. London: Churchill Livingstone.
Home Office (1973) Report on the Review of Procedures for the Discharge and Supervision of Psychiatric Patients subject to Special Restrictions (Aarvold Committee). Cmnd 5191. London: HMSO.
Joint Committee on Higher Psychiatric Training (1987) Requirements for specialist training in forensic psychiatry. In Joint Committee on Higher Psychiatric Training Handbook, pp. 4346. London: The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Priest, R. G. (1990) The future of mental hospital sites. Psychiatric Bulletin, 14, 245248.
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1980) Secure Facilities for Psychiatric Patients: a comprehensive policy. London: The Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Patients in Broadmoor Hospital from the South Western region: an audit of transfer procedures

  • Jeanette Smith (a1), Martin Donovan (a1) and Harvey Gordon (a2)
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