The number of psychiatric beds in Friern Hospital in North London was steadily reduced in line with plans to close the hospital in 1993. Meanwhile some discharged patients deteriorate, most of whom have schizophrenia, with significant and multiple disabilities of a chronic nature and are service dependent as described in the recent report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1993). Return to their accommodation may be prejudiced by their relapse and the attendant disturbed behaviour. The poor employment prospects too are unhelpful in rehabilitation, particularly since we are running down and closing probably one of the best industrial rehabilitation facilities in the world. The combined effects generate great pressures on the remaining beds and there are increasing numbers in prison.
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