The Department of Health has published proposals for new legislation, which it hopes will provide a legal basis for effective community care of mentally ill people. Consultant psychiatrists and approved social workers were surveyed to determine attitudes towards the proposals. Despite the impression that new powers are provided, respondents saw little in the way of new powers, and could not see how the proposals would improve community care. Not all of the proposals were fully understood, and wider consultation with those who would be using any new legislation is recommended.
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