From 1 April 1996 mental health legislation was expanded to include provision for “supervised discharge” under the Mental Health (Patients in the Community) Act 1995. However, the use off Section 17 (s17) off the Mental Health Act has always provided an option for an extended leave. This retrospective case note study examines 10 years of practice off s17 use and focuses on characteristics off those patients recalled. Increases in s17 applications represented equivalent increases in admissions and overall sections, although numbers off patients actually recalled had fallen significantly. Patients recalled after discharge were generally middle-aged men with a long history of schizophrenia, on s3, who relapse quickly due to treatment non-compliance.
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