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A National Audit of New Long-Stay Psychiatric Patients: I: Method and Description of the Cohort

  • Paul Lelliott, John Wing (a1) and Paul Clifford (a2)

This first report of a national audit of new long-stay (NLS) psychiatric patients conducted in 1992 describes the survey method and characteristics of the cohort.


Psychiatrists from 59 UK mental health services returned data on 905 patients, aged 18–64 on admission, who had been in hospital for between six months and three years.


Two particular sub-groups were observed. Younger NLS patients (aged 18–34) were predominantly single men with schizophrenia; 43% of these had a history of serious violence, dangerous behaviour or admission to a Special Hospital and over one-third were formally detained. Older NLS patients (aged 55–67) were predominantly married or previously married women, more often with a diagnosis of affective disorder or dementia and with poor personal and social functioning; over half were at moderate or severe risk of non-deliberate self-harm.


Despite the continued policy of bed closures and focus on care in the community, some patients admitted recently to psychiatric units in the UK still have protracted hospital stays.

Corresponding author
Dr Paul Lelliott, Research Unit, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 17 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PG
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A National Audit of New Long-Stay Psychiatric Patients: I: Method and Description of the Cohort

  • Paul Lelliott, John Wing (a1) and Paul Clifford (a2)
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