Objectives: The aims of this study were to review the outcome of those long-stay patients two years after identification and to compare those discharged with those remaining in hospital in order to identify factors which might contribute to their continuing stay.
Methods: All the new long-stay patients who were more than one year and less than six years on 1st March 1992 were included in the study. Their current placement. Legal status and demographic and clinical details were recorded. Findings: Sixtynine percent of the original cohort remained in hospital, 9% had died, and 22 % had been discharged, mainly to highly staffed accommodation. Approximately half of those remaining in hospital were considered suitable for community placement. Those remaining in hospital were older, had longer durations of illness and were more likely to be dangerous than those discharged.
Conclusions: Despite continuing developments in community services a considerable number of new long-stay patients still remain in hospital and the proportion of those compulsorily detained remains unchanged.