New study again shows Community Treatment Orders do not work, says MHA Chair

30 April 2004

"The Government's plans for community treatment orders have been dealt another blow by further evidence that they do not stop people having to go to hospital," Mental Health Alliance chair Paul Farmer said today.

Responding to an Australian study, published today in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Paul Farmer said: "The Government has claimed that community treatment orders (CTOs) give patients more choice and will help to reduce the number of people who are treated in hospital under the Mental Health Act.

"Today's study shows that in fact CTOs diminish patient choice by preventing people from deciding whether or not they continue treatment when they are well enough to be out of hospital. And it shows that people under CTOs were just as likely to have to go back to hospital.

"The Government should think again about its plans to force people who can make decisions for themselves and pose no threat to others to take medication outside hospital.

"The Mental Health Alliance hopes ministers will look at the evidence and make major changes to its plans for the Mental Health Act when it publishes its second draft Bill later this year."

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Notes to Editors