Over the last four decades there has been a substantial reduction in the number of psychiatric hospital beds. Alternative residential facilities in the community have been developed. These include staffed hostels, group homes and supportive lodgings providing bed and breakfast. While hostels and group homes are often integrated with psychiatric services and run by experienced staff, this may not be the case with the small privately run homes. Anstee (1978, 1985) described two supportive lodging schemes and suggested that such facilities were particularly helpful for people with schizophrenia. However, there has been little further research in this area even though supportive lodgings may constitute a significant proportion of long-stay residential facilities. We know little about the landladies, their background, training, experience and particularly the rewards and frustrations of their work. The extent of psychiatric morbidity and the overall burden of care for these landladies is also unknown.
The aim of the present study was to gather information about the carers, the residents and the level of care provided in these facilities.