Many psychiatric hospitals in the UK have closed. Factors influencing staff morale around the time of a hospital closure will affect the functioning of that institution. This study surveyed staff anxieties, attitudes and expectations in a major psychiatric hospital three weeks prior to its closure. We found evidence of widespread denial despite energetic dissemination of information. There were also significant differences between staff groups. Our findings will have implications for the management of future hospital closures.
“We have to get it into our heads that a hospital is like a shell, a framework to contain certain processes, and when the processes are superseded, the shell must, most probably, be scrapped and the framework dismantled” (Enoch Powell, 1961).
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