A major government-commissioned study into the international experience of mental health community treatment orders has found it impossible to say whether they are beneficial or harmful to patients.
The report, published today, found “no robust evidence” about the effects of the orders, which are a key plank of the government’s controversial Mental Health Bill, on outcomes such as hospital readmission, improved medication compliance or patients’ quality of life.
The orders would allow patients to be compulsorily treated in the community following a period of detention in hospital.
Opponents have said they would bring too many people into the compulsory mental health system and peers amended the bill last month to restrict them to “revolving door” patients who would otherwise be constantly in and out of hospital.
But health minister Rosie Winterton last week vowed to overturn changes made by peers once the bill reaches the Commons, which is likely to be after Easter.
Mental health information