Publish report on community treatment for psychiatric patients, shadow health minister urges government

The government is sitting on a report showing that treating mental health patients in the community neither improves care nor reduces risks to the public, the House of Commons heard yesterday.

Shadow health minister Tim Loughton called on government opposite number Rosie Winterton to come clean about the findings of the study of how community treatment orders have worked in 50 countries.

The Mental Health Bill would introduce supervised community treatment to ensure patients comply with treatment, but the proposal has been roundly criticised by campaigners.

Loughton said the report had been delivered to the Department of Health in the autumn. He said it concluded that community treatment orders “have no clear effect on patient outcomes or risk reduction, and that these psychiatric ASBOs have been described as discriminatory by many patient groups, not least those representing BME patients”.

Winterton said the report was being peer-reviewed and would be published in due course, and repeated government assertions that supervised community treatment would improve compliance with medication and protect the public.

Peers are due to discuss the bill today as part of its committee stage in the Lords.

More information on mental health

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.