Research Article

Fall in admission rate of old people to psychiatric units.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 21 January 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:156
  1. K Shulman,
  2. T Arie


    The numbers of the elderly, and particularly the very old, have been increasing and continue to increase rapidly; but admission rates of old people to psychiatric hospitals in England and Wales suddenly started to fall in 1970. They were still generally falling in 1974 (the most recent year for which figures are available). There is no evidence that the incidence of dementia has suddenly fallen, or that expansion of extramural or other non-psychiatric services is everywhere coping with the severely demented. It is probably becoming more difficult for demented people to be admitted to psychiatric hospitals that are often still overcrowded, in view of the greater scrutiny of institutional care that has become established since the Ely Report of 1969. If this is so the cost to the demented and those who care for them of the undoubted improvements in conditions in psychiatric hospitals needs to be counted.