Determining the number of psychiatric beds needed

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6974.261b (Published 28 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:261
  1. David Roy,
  2. Marios Pierides,
  3. Tom Craig
  1. Clinical director, adult mental health, West Lambeth Community Care NHS Trust, London SW9
  2. Locum consultant psychiatrist, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT
  3. Professor of community psychiatry, United Medical and Dental Schools, St Thomas's Hospital, London SE1 7EH

    EDITOR,—We support Graham Thornicroft and Geraldine Strathdee's view that it is not possible to debate the issue of how many psychiatric beds are needed without placing the emphasis firmly on the whole mental health system.1 But the notion that pressure on inpatient beds could be eased by more efficient management by “senior clinical gatekeepers” is too simplistic. The suggestion that the crisis in acute inpatient services would end if only clinicians managed their services properly is being repeated so often that it is beginning …

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