Community treatment orders have not reduced admissions, study shows

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 25 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1993
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Controversial powers for the compulsory treatment of mental illness in the community, introduced five years ago in England and Wales, have not reduced rates of readmission to hospital as intended, a randomised controlled study has found.

Community treatment orders (CTOs), which were opposed by mental health charities, were meant to deal with the “revolving door syndrome”—the repeated release and involuntary readmission to hospital of patients with psychotic illnesses.

But the Oxford Community Treatment Order Evaluation Trial, published online in the Lancet, found that patients released from hospital under a CTO were just as likely to be readmitted to hospital during …

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