Over the past two decades, there have been large increases in the numbers of secure psychiatric hospital beds, which some have argued amounts to a reinstitutionalisation of psychiatric patients.
Costs per patient are substantially more in such hospitals, with some estimates of £152 000 per year per patient in the UK at low secure institutions and £273 000 in high secure hospitals and an estimated overall budget of over £1 billion. In England, this is equivalent to 19% of the overall mental health budget and represents its largest single component.
However, the evidence for patient benefit in such hospitals is limited.
A team of researchers, led by Professor Seena Fazel at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford has conducted a systematic review of studies that have tracked patients after secure hospital discharge for criminal behaviour, readmission to psychiatric hospital and mortality.
Read the full article in the British Journal of Psychiatry.