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Facilities for mentally impaired patients: three years experience of a semi-secure unit

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Stephen Tyrer
Prudhoe Hospital, Prudhoe, Northumberland NE42 5NT
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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:

  1. (a) individuals with borderline and mild mental handicap could be adequately treated in the secure units for mentally ill individuals

  2. (b) individuals with moderate mental handicap needed a special secure facility

  3. (c) individuals with severe mental handicap did not need high security, and should be managed in high-staffed wards in mental handicap hospitals.

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Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1990


Department of Health and Social Security (1974a) Security in NHS Hospitals for the Mentally Ill and the Mentally Handicapped (Glancy Report). London: DHSS.Google Scholar
Department of Health and Social Security (1974b) The Interim Report of the Committee on Mentally Abnormal Offenders (Butler Report) Cmnd 5698. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
Grounds, A. T. (1987) Detention of psychopathic disorder patients in Special Hospitals: Critical issues. British Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 474478.Google Scholar
Murphy, G., Holland, A. & Fowler, P. (in press). MIETS: A service option for people with mild learning disability and challenging behaviour or psychiatric problems. Mental Handicap Research. Google Scholar
Oxford Regional Health Authority (1976) A Survey of the Need for Secure Psychiatric Facilities in the Oxford Region. Oxford: Oxford Regional Health Authority.Google Scholar
Royal College of Psychiatrists (1981) Secure Facilities for Psychiatric Patients - A Comprehensive Policy. London: Royal College of Psychiatrists.Google Scholar
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