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Care of people with schizophrenia suffers as too much money is spent on secure units

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7712 (Published 13 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7712
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Too much of the mental health budget in England is spent on keeping patients inappropriately locked up in secure units and should instead go to better hospital care and support in the community, says an independent inquiry.

The report from the Schizophrenia Commission, which was established in 2011 by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, says that greater investment in hospital services, early intervention services, respite units, and recovery houses to help manage the transition from hospital to the community would better meet the needs of patients.1

The report describes standards of care on some acute mental health wards as “shameful.”

Speaking at the launch of the report, Robin Murray, professor of psychiatric research at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, called wards “very untherapeutic” environments that can make patients more ill, not …

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