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The birthplace of the specialty of psychiatry was in the asylum, which was created to divert patients from workhouses where the most disadvantaged and destitute people with mental illness were to be found. The current welfare reforms are endangering the welfare and livelihood of the most disadvantaged of our patients. These reforms in the authors' opinion are related more to the historical cycle of societal attitude to homeless people than to seeing them as the undeserving poor. This is particularly true since the current economic crisis was not caused by the poor, so it is very unfair that our poorest patients should suffer most as a result of the welfare reforms. © The Author(s) 2013.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Social Psychiatry

Publication Date





71 - 74