Evidence bearing on the issue of what happens to patients from long-stay psychiatric wards in Britain is scarce. The results of a particularly well-planned resettlement programme may not be representative of the outcome from general policies of discharge from all psychiatric hospitals. The present study was undertaken in Sheffield to find the whereabouts of patients from long-stay wards after eight years, a longer period than usually studied previously. The expectation was that difficulties in tracing patients could be overcome with sufficient time and effort.
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