"New chronic" patients.Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 283 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.283.6300.1161 (Published 31 October 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;283:1161
- T H Bewley,
- M Bland,
- D Mechen,
- E Walch
A five-year follow-up of 1467 mental hospital patients showed that 501 had died, 449 had been discharged, and 517 were still resident. During this period 81 "new chronic" patients aged under 65 were admitted: 49 were readmissions and 15 of 32 first admissions had had previous periods in other psychiatric hospitals. Many new chronic patients were old chronic with intervals of community care, and one-third of them were likely to require permanent care. These findings provide no comfort for those who believe that present DHSS plans for mental health services can ever be realised.