We examined the local impact of introducing a home treatment team on the use of in-patient psychiatric resources and rates of detention under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.
Rates of admission to hospital and duration of hospital stay were unchanged. However, there was an increase in episodes of detention in the year following the team's introduction.
Offering home treatment as an alternative to in-patient care may be associated with an increase in compulsory treatment. If true, this is incompatible with the ‘least restrictive alternative’ principle of the recently revised mental health legislation.
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