Intended for healthcare professionals


Implications of supervision registers in psychiatry

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 29 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1158

Being on the register will not remove the risk

  1. T Davies

    EDITOR, - Glynn Harrison and Peter Bartlett's editorial draws attention to several ambiguities surrounding the introduction of supervision registers,1 and the response elicited from the Department of Health's mental health policy unit provides welcome clarification.2 Neither of these, however, helps us to gain an understanding of the practical importance of supervision. Clearly, this understanding will differ in important respects among clinicians, patients and their advocates, and the general public.

    Clinicians may find reassurance in the statement that “the decision on whether a patient should be placed on or taken off the register must always be a clinical one.”2 This is because clinical decisions are based on available evidence evaluated in the light of experience and current clinical opinion: they acknowledge the possibility of error in each.

    The public perception is likely to be different. As with registers of children at risk of non- …

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