The Working Party on Security in NHS Hospitals (The Glancy Report, DHSS, 1974a) and the interim report of The Butler Committee (DHSS, 1974b) both recommended that secure provision should be made available for the treatment of mentally disordered patients who required greater security than could be provided in a standard hospital setting. They recommended that patients with mild or borderline mental handicap should be treated together with the mentally ill but that “severely subnormal patients” should be treated separately. Later the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1981) largely endorsed this advice proposing that:
(a) individuals with borderline and mild mental handicap could be adequately treated in the secure units for mentally ill individuals
(b) individuals with moderate mental handicap needed a special secure facility
(c) individuals with severe mental handicap did not need high security, and should be managed in high-staffed wards in mental handicap hospitals.